The PAL team is delighted to announce that our work will now extend into Gaza. Since PAL was founded in 2011, our work with animals and people has been focused predominantly in the West Bank. Contact with Gaza, and access to the area, is limited for our team based in the West Bank and so it has been difficult to establish sustainable links. Not only that but, given the devastating bombardment of Gaza in 2014, and ongoing restrictions for Gazans due to the closure of the borders surrounding the region, it is fair to assume that the establishment of an animal protection group might not be foremost in the minds of the local population.
But, all of that is about to change as we welcome an inspiring group of lawyers, educators and advocates into the PAL team. Ghader, Hadeel, Faten, Mustafa, Tarek, Sohail and Karem are all based in Gaza and have been in talks with the existing PAL team to discuss the implementation of animal protection projects in their local community.
Connecting with colleagues in Gaza has long been an aspiration for PAL. Executive Director, Ahmad Safi said:
“We are delighted to be starting to build this important new relationship. There will certainly be challenges for us as we move forward; not least because it is unlikely that our colleagues in Gaza will be granted permission to visit the West Bank to see our work on the ground, just as our existing team will be unlikely to be able to travel to Gaza. However, the restrictions placed on us as Palestinian citizens, have not stopped us from developing projects here in the West Bank that we are really proud of. We are determined to support our new colleagues in Gaza to build a strong animal protection movement across Palestinian society”.
The team expects to begin working on implementing PAL’s “Youth for Change” programme as a first step, but has already identified long-term goals. These include humane management of stray animals, widespread education and awareness campaigns and the introduction of animal welfare laws.
Please join us in welcoming our new colleagues to the PAL team. We look forward to updating you on their progress as they progress.