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Since its creation, UNRWA has become a quasi-government entity, building and maintaining the schools of Gaza as well as providing healthcare services. Since the Israeli war with Hamas began, the schools have been transformed into shelters, and now house more than a million homeless Palestinians. The agency also provides food, potable water and medical care. (Submitted photo)

Fundraiser for Palestinian aid organization set

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A soup supper fundraiser to raise funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, will take place Saturday, March 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m., in the social room of Rockford Chapel on the Antioch College campus.

Begun in 1949 to provide aid to Palestinian refugees when the state of Israel was created, the organization is the largest agency on the ground providing humanitarian relief during the bombing of Gaza. Since its creation, UNRWA has become a quasi-government entity, building and maintaining the schools of Gaza as well as providing healthcare services. Since the Israeli war with Hamas began, the schools have been transformed into shelters, and now house more than a million homeless Palestinians. The agency also provides food, potable water and medical care.

UNRWA’s humanitarian aid is now threatened, however, as the U.S., the agency’s major donor, has paused its financial support following charges from Israel that some UNRWA employees — reportedly 12 out of 13,000 employees — took part in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack against Israel. Those employees were immediately fired from the agency, as UNRWA leaders protested the charges and affirmed their neutrality.

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Suggested donations for the soup supper will be $10 for adults, $5 for children. Community cooks are donating a variety of soups and salads. All monetary donations are welcome and will go directly to UNRWA.

For more information, contact Judith Hempfling at jujuhempfling@gmail.com or Diane Chiddister at chiddisterd@gmail.com.

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One Response to “Fundraiser for Palestinian aid organization set”

  1. Don Hubschman says:

    The Biden administration has halted funding to UNRWA for sound reasons. Perhaps the Red Crescent of Palestine would be a more sensible recipient of these donations.

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