Newspaper tells stories of Palestinians wounded in Israeli-Gaza conflict

A Palestinian charity launches a new newspaper to report on Gazans who were wounded or disabled during the Israeli offensives on the strip.

GAZA CITY, GAZA (REUTERS) – A Palestinian charity in Gaza has launched a new newspaper dedicated to reporting on people who were wounded or have become disabled during fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Since its establishment in 2005, ‘Merciful Hands Charity’ has been on a mission to find ways to help support the victims of the conflict by shedding more light on their stories.

Last month, the charity launched ‘Nabd Aljareeh’ Arabic for ‘Pulse of the Wounded’ newspaper, to report the stories of Palestinians affected by the war.

According to its administration, the newspaper publishes articles written by psychologists and other specialists to provide wounded readers with help and advice on their health situation.

Editor Of ‘Nabd Aljareeh’ Newspaper, Nour Salim, said more attention needs to be given to the wounded Gazans who are increasing over time.

“This newspaper aims to shine a spotlight on this group of people (injured Palestinians) which is being marginalised and is is suffering hardships, especially as they are increasing in number with each (new) aggression from the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip. Recently, the last aggression left more than 10,000 injured (Palestinians),” Salim told Reuters Television.

The latest war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014 killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians. More than 70 Israelis were also killed, most of them soldiers.

Thousands of Palestinians were wounded in the fighting.

A resident of Gaza city, Hosni Al-Batsh, lost one of his legs during the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2012, and had to replace it with a prosthetic one.

Al-Batsh is one of thousands of Palestinians who have been left physically disabled by the conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Authorities in the densely populated Gaza Strip say at least 9,000 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli air strikes and shelling last year, a toll worse than the last two bouts of war combined, dating to 2008-09.

With limited access to rehabilitation facilities and prosthetic limbs, life as a physically disabled person in the impoverished and blockaded Gaza Strip is especially bleak.

The territory’s crowded, uneven streets are no place for a wheelchair, there are few jobs for people with disabilities and little psychiatric support.

Al-Batsh said the newspaper will help in providing a platform for Palestinians to attract government attention.

“Through this newspaper, we hope that our voice reaches all the Palestinian community, if God wills. We also hope that God makes it easy (for us to do that). We have a special message (that we want to send through the newspaper) to the governmental institutions that we hardly see any support from them,” he said.

The director of ‘Merciful Hands Charity’, Mohammad Abu Al-Kass, said readers from outside the strip can read the newspaper through a soft copy that gets published on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

“We published the newspaper on social media websites and this has expanded its reach to wider readers, whether they are interested in the Palestinian cause in general or in the wounded (Palestinians) in particular,” he added.

‘Nabd Aljareeh’ is a monthly newspaper which consists of 16 pages, six of them are printed in colour, the rest are in black and white.

According to the administration team, the newspaper will print about 4000 copies for every edition.

Each edition will include an introduction, an interview with a specialist and a couple of articles that include advice on various legal, health and social issues.

It will also include news about wounded and disabled Palestinians and a special page dedicated to those who wish to share their own stories with the readers.

Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of halting cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas, the dominant militant group in the enclave.

The fighting was ended by an Egyptian-brokered truce.