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Quebecers will participate in a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza

Photo: Valérian Mazataud Le Devoir “The objective is to do what the government does not do,” said former NDP candidate and epidemiologist Nimâ Machouf on Tuesday.

Marc-Antoine Franco Rey

Published yesterday at 10:46 p.m.

  • Middle East

Quebecers will join hundreds of humanitarian workers from around thirty countries to deliver thousands of tons of aid to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, the epicenter of the war between Israel and Hamas, which has been operating there for six months.

More than 5,500 tonnes of equipment, whether medical or used to rebuild infrastructure, as well as food are to set sail from the Mediterranean in the coming weeks towards the Palestinian territory.

“The goal is to do what the government is not doing,” said former NDP candidate and epidemiologist Nimâ Machouf on Tuesday, who will herself fly to the Middle East with at least two other compatriots.

Israel launched its military offensive in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack on October 7. The Palestinian movement has killed some 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 250 hostages. The Israeli response has left nearly 34,000 dead to date, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, and is leading to a food and health crisis in the enclave.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition sea convoy will have three ships in total, two for aid workers and one for transporting cargo.

The targeted departure date would be in the last weeks of April, and it will take a few days to reach Gaza. Anesthetic products and birthing and operating kits are included in the cargo, among other things. Material that Israel does not normally allow into the enclave, raises Nimâ Machouf.

Accompanied by other representatives of groups supporting the international emergency mission, including Amnesty International Canada francophone, Ms. Machouf made the announcement in front of the offices of the federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, in Montreal.

The former political figure asked Quebec and Ottawa to ensure the safety of the Quebec delegation joining the flotilla and to provide it with help on board so that it arrives safely. “Our role is to bear witness and ensure through our presence that the equipment goes to Gaza,” she said.

“We think that the population of Gaza needs us, us as citizens, us as individuals,” she argued, pointing to the famine affecting the strip of land and the deterioration of the state of health of Palestinians.

Protest in Ottawa

The Collective of Quebec Doctors in Support of Gaza took advantage of this declaration to announce a die-inwhich will take place on Saturday on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. “With hundreds of health workers lying on the ground on Parliament Hill, we want to send a strong message to our government, the media and the general public,” said the collective, which demands in particular an end to attacks targeting the infrastructure and health personnel in Gaza. The group denounced the “annihilated” health network in Gaza a few weeks ago, in an open letter signed by nearly 450 doctors. Comments which remained a dead letter, lamented Sophie Zhang, spokesperson for the collective. “We are going to escalate our actions,” proclaimed the family doctor.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116