South Coast message of support to Gaza victims

Left-wing Israelis light candles for the Palestinian and Israeli victims in a protest against Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Left-wing Israelis light candles for the Palestinian and Israeli victims in a protest against Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Arthur Rorris has a message for the people of Gaza - we care and we want to help.

The South Coast Labour Council secretary is urging the Illawarra to get behind an urgent appeal to help Palestinian families affected by Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip.

Just days ago, the El-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza, which is supported by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA and the South Coast Labour Council, was completely destroyed by Israeli shelling.

All the patients, who have some degree of paralysis and require round-the-clock care, were evacuated to an overcrowded and under-resourced medical clinic.

"Most of them are on oxygen support and feeding tubes, they are the most immobile of the immobile and a lot of them are kids," Mr Rorris said.

The SCLC had pledged to continue sending humanitarian assistance from the Illawarra to help ensure the hospital could provide essential medical services to the people of Gaza.

"We're just very concerned that the people in the Gaza know that we are watching and we do care," he said.

"We have given a commitment to the people of Gaza; if the hospital is to be built brick by brick, certainly the Labour Council and our friends and others will be there for them."

The conflict in Gaza, which erupted on July 8 when Israel launched a vast aerial campaign followed by a ground offensive, has killed more than 1000 Palestinians, 40 Israeli soldiers and three civilians inside Israel.

Both sides of the conflict agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire, which ended at 8pm Saturday (local time).

Mr Rorris said he was disappointed the federal government had not offered assistance to the victims of the recent attacks.

"I know that they are focused on another tragedy, but this tragedy is still unfolding, people are still dying by the hundreds," he said.

Money raised will help provide medical supplies, emergency food vouchers and items, such as milk and staples, to families who have been displaced by the bombings.

Visit apheda.org.au for more information on the humanitarian appeal.

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