On the 17th of January 2009, residents of Ni’lin began a collection of clothes and food to be sent to the besieged people of Gaza. Calls from the mosques announced that contributions of clothes, shoes and food could be brought to the village center.
Aid collection for Gaza from the people of Ni’lin had been organized during a meeting with municipalities from all over the West Bank. The Ni’lin Municipality and the Social Club arranged the plan for the mass effort. The aid will be sent to Gaza with the Red Crescent via the Erez checkpoint.
The mobilization for aid began before a women and children’s demonstration near the girls’ school. Lasting several days, the community came together to show their support for Gaza. According to the Municipality President Ayman Nafi, 10,000NIS was raised to buy olive oil that will be put in bottles of Top Drink at the factory in Ni’lin with special labels that say ‘Unity Ni’lin (from all the people of Ni’lin) to Gaza Urgently.’ About 20,000NIS worth of food and clothes was also collected. The formal assembly of aid for Gaza will continue for another three days.
A Palestinian community that regularly demonstrates against construction of the Apartheid Wall, Ni’lin has lost lives and land in their struggle. Two boys from the village were shot and killed with live ammunition in a solidarity with Gaza demonstration on the 28th of December.
With an ongoing blockade on Gaza, the Israeli government severely limits the amount of aid that can enter Gaza. On the constant brink of humanitarian crisis, amplified significantly by Israel’s latest attacks, many Gazans have almost no access to basic foodstuffs or water. Even if the supplies are prevents from entering Gaza by the Israeli authorities, the act of organizing a delivery is a way in which Ni’lin and the West Bank can show that their hearts and thoughts are with Gaza.