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Shoppers show solidarity with the people of Palestine

This news post is almost 8 years old

​Store selling Palestinian goods and crafts has seen an upsurge in visitors since the Israeli assault on Gaza began

A shop selling Palestinian goods has been inundated by people concerned about Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

Hadeel is a fair trade store in Edinburgh’s George Street which sells produce and crafts from Gaza and the West Bank.

It has witnessed a jump in numbers coming through its doors since the Israeli Defence Force launched a brutal attack on the tiny, overcrowded strip of land, causing hundreds of deaths.

Israel has ‘left’ Gaza but controls the territory by land, sea and air. No one can enter or leave without Israeli permission. How can anyone live like that?

Carol Morton, the managing director of Hadeel – which means cooing dove in Arabic – said: “More and more people have visited the shop over the past week, concerned about what’s going on, wanting to talk about it and get information.

“We are obviously not happy with the situation but we are happy that we can provide people with information about what’s going on.”

Sourcing goods from Gaza and other Palestinian territories has never been easy because of tight Israeli restrictions – but Morton admitted it will only get tougher.

She said: “As a fair trade importer and shop, it obviously is important that we continue to source and sell goods from our partners in the West Bank and Gaza, but anyone can easily imagine the difficulty in the war zone that Gaza is at the moment.

“Our two main groups are closed as is most of the normal life of Gaza inhabitants. It is important for us to remember that the real cause of all this is the occupation of a people and land since 1967 – 47 years – when normal life has been severely restricted.

“Many of the people suffering now are 1948 refugees and their descendants: 66 years in miserable refugee camps or leading a life with no government of their own, which means no health, education, emergency services provided except by a UN agency which is massively underfunded.

“Under normal conditions Gaza’s water supply is polluted and undrinkable; they have electricity at most eight hours a day. Israel has left Gaza but controls the territory by land, sea and air. No one can enter or leave without Israeli permission. How can anyone live like that?

“This is why our support for institutions like UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and Atfaluna, a charity in Gaza, as well as the many organisations catering for people with special needs in the West Bank, is so important.”

Hadeel is owned by the Scottish charity Palcrafts. Any surplus made on sale of goods is Gift Aided to Palcrafts which distributes small development grants to its producers.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has vowed to keep up the pressure on Israel within the UK.

It is organising daily protests outside an Edinburgh Fringe performance by the Israeli state-funded Incubator Theatre Company at the Underbelly on Bristo Square.



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