Grassroots Grantee Gaza Community Mental Health Program Damaged in Attacks
By Salena Tramel
January 2nd, 2009
Grassroots International's long time grantee, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP) has been hit by extensive shelling in the now weeklong military campaign against Gaza. GCMHP provides mental health services, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as children, women and victims of trauma and human rights violations. They are also the lead organization of the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, which Grassroots International has supported in coordination with alies such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Global Exchange.
The Israeli shelling caused massive damage in GCMHP Headquarter in Gaza
At about 1:50 am of Tuesday December 30th, 2008, Israeli F16 airplanes shelled a Palestinian police site in Gaza, which is 70 meters away from GCMHP's Main Building in Sheikh Ejleen on Gaza Beach. The shelling was part of the vicious military attacks that the Israeli Army launched over Gaza since December 27th, 2008.
This harsh shelling caused massive destruction in the main building of GCMHP, where walls and fore ceilings cracked completely and partially. Extreme damage reached the furniture, equipments, electrical andelectronic devices as well as the files and documents that were in the four floor building, which contains offices, training halls, main library, and financial and administrative departments.
Luckily, the guard, who was in the premises, was not harmed. However, he was in a state of panic due to the strength of explosions.
As a result, the tremendous destruction to the building and its contents and equipments will force GCMHP to suspend its operations for sometime, due to necessity for renovation, before resumption of work.
A number of management staff and Board of Directors visited the Program to evaluate the damages and make arrangements that ensures the protection of the building in these difficult times that Gaza is going through.
Gaza Community Mental Health Program denounces this brutal action and the attacks that target everything in Gaza. We, call upon the international community to urgently intervene and make all their efforts to protect Palestinian civilians and institutions in Gaza, which are under real danger of death and destruction.
Gaza Community Mental Health Program