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GAZA: Palestinians rally for Haiti: 'We were exposed to our own earthquake'

January 20, 2010 |  6:27 am

Picture 27 With one in five Gazans living in abject poverty, according to the United Nations, extra money and food are hard to come by.

Still, some are putting together what they can to donate to the people of Haiti.

On Monday, a local group began a drive to collect money, blankets, food and other items for donation to Haiti through the Red Cross, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

However, getting goods into and out of the Gaza Strip is difficult due to the Israeli blockade, and food and clothing donations have been turned away.

"People may be astonished at our ability to collect donations from our people [in Gaza]; we tell them that this is a humanitarian campaign and our people love life and peace," said Jamal Khudary, head of the Committee to Break the Siege, which organized the initiative.

"We feel for [the Haitians] the most because we were exposed to our own earthquake during Israel’s war on Gaza," he told Maan.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank also has pledged assistance to Haiti but has not specified what kind of aid they would provide.

Although Saudi Arabia has yet to pitch in, the Palestinians join other Arab countries and Israel in donating money, medical personnel and relief supplies to the victims of Haiti's catastrophic earthquake, which is estimated to have taken tens of thousands of lives.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Screen shot: From Euronews' report on the donation drive. Credit: Meris Lutz