About the campaign
On 14 July, with conflict in Gaza raging, the ITF launched a programme to provide aid to its people. Essential medical supplies were, and still are, needed and we sent a first consignment within days. With your support, more will follow. The ITF has also backed calls for an immediate ceasefire.
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This appeal builds on the experience of the ITF in supplying several cargo loads of aid supplies to Gaza by airplane and lorry in 2009, during the conflict at that time.
Union building in Gaza and Palestine
We also launched a solidarity fund to raise money for a transport union office in Gaza, to support the training and organising work of the local Bus Drivers’ Union (BDU).
Workers in Gaza have, traditionally, been well organised. The ITF-affiliated BDU organised 2,000 bus, taxi and ambulance drivers in Gaza until 2007, when the Hamas government requisitioned the union’s offices and tried to replace it with its own organisation. The union office was later destroyed during an Israeli air raid.
Urgent support is needed to rebuild this union. Leaders of the ITF’s two Palestinian affiliates – the Palestinian General Transport Workers Union (PGTWU) in the West Bank, and the BDU in Gaza – have called for support to rebuild membership.
“International funding is urgently needed to help BDU get back on its feet and organise workers in Gaza. Workers and their families face severe daily difficulties and need a strong union to support them in the fight for their rights.”
Bilal Malkawi, ITF Arab world regional secretary
“It is hard to describe life in Gaza. For six years, 1.6 million people have been living under blockade. They have suffered from periodic air and missile attacks as a result of exchanges between Hamas and the Israeli armed forces. The blockade has devastated Gaza’s economy, restricted freedom of movement, and threatened all basic services. There is currently a severe crisis in fuel supplies, medical services, water supply and waste management. Transport workers need your help.”
Stuart Howard, ITF assistant general secretary