A group of Palestinian women in East Jerusalem have joined forces to raise money for their fellow Palestinians in the embattled Gaza Strip by selling homemade crafts and food.
"We organized this charity sale to help the people of Gaza, as no one is daring to speak out against Israel's aggression," Fatema Sous, a 56-year-old co-organizer of the initiative, told Anadolu Agency.
Sous joined other Palestinian women in the city to hold a three-day charity sale in East Jerusalem's Saladin Street, the proceeds of which will go to supporting Gazan families affected by Israel's devastating onslaught on the coastal enclave.
The Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, which began on July 7, have left at least 2016 Palestinians dead and more than 10,000 injured – most of them civilians.
The Israeli offensive has also left thousands of Gaza homes and buildings partially or totally destroyed.
"I feel so sad about what Israel is doing to the Gazans, slaughtering women and children," Sous said while selling homemade souvenirs.
Hand-woven textiles, woodcarvings, statues, and handmade gifts and food are also sold with the aim of raising money for the afflicted Palestinian territory.
The funds will be delivered to Gaza by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
"All the women here are heroes who resist the Israeli occupation in some way," Sous added. "I've been arrested by Israeli soldiers many times, but I'll never give up."
Aedah Shade, another co-organizer, feels it is the least they can do for their embattled counterparts in Gaza – even though their situation in occupied East Jerusalem is also difficult.
"I'm so angry at Israel for what they have done in Gaza, killing so many innocent children," said Shade, a mother of three who gets by selling homemade food.
"We have the right to defend ourselves as Israel kills our children. They [the Israelis] are responsible for every [Palestinian] rocket aimed at Tel Aviv," she added.
Said Qaq, a young photographer from Jerusalem, also participated in the charity drive, selling copies of her work to raise money for Gaza.
"Gaza is my heart, my soul, which I cannot live without," the 24-year-old Palestinian said, even though she has never had the chance to visit the coastal enclave.
Both Israel and Palestinian resistance factions are currently observing a five-day truce as part of indirect talks in Cairo aimed at reaching a permanent ceasefire and ending one of Israel's deadliest ever offensives against the embattled strip, which was launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from Gaza.
The Gaza Strip, home to some 1.8 million Palestinians, has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, which has badly affected residents' livelihoods.
By Turgut Alp Boyraz
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