KUALA LUMPUR: A team of 56 doctors, volunteers and media personnel will be sent to Gaza for a humanitarian mission next week.
The eight-day Road To Gaza mission, organised by Kelab Putera 1Malaysia (KP1M) and Gerakan Belia Gagasan 1Malaysia, will bring with them US$150,000 (RM458,000) worth of medicine.
KP1M president Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim said the team, which will be led by him, will also bring food supplies and other necessities which would be purchased in Egypt.
"Our focus in this mission is to provide medical aid to victims of Israeli atrocities, with 30 doctors, including surgeons and paediatricians, going as volunteers.
"Our main target group will be children, women and senior citizens.
"We plan to go from village to village and from house to house," he said after the launch of the mission by Umno information chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
Also present was Gaza fund trustees board chairman Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Azeez said 731 people had volunteered for the mission but they could only pick 56.
He said all the necessary arrangements had been made for the safety of the volunteers.
The team was being advised by Hamas officials who were in Malaysia. It is also liaising with Red Crescent Society representatives and two other non-governmental organisations in Gaza.
Azeez said the team would go to Gaza through Egypt, and was expected to fly home on Dec 13.
In Putrajaya, another Gaza Humanitarian Fund was launched yesterday by the People Volunteers Corps (Rela).
Rela director general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim said the 1Rela-RM1-1Life was a continuation of the 1KDN Universal Wave of Peace which was launched by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Nov 22.
He said the fund was started at all Rela offices nationwide on Nov 23 and would continue till Dec 15.
"We are hoping to collect as much donations as possible to help the people of Palestine fight against the attacks by Israel," he said at the launch of the fund yesterday.
He said Rela was made up of up to three million members, and he hoped that each one would come forward to donate to the fund.
"Even if each person gives RM1, that would still amount to a big sum."
He urged the public to also contribute to the fund which was available at all Rela offices and programmes under them.
The launch was officiated by the ministry's deputy secretary-general (Operations) Datuk Wan Ali Besar.
Bernama reports that Hamas' head of international relations Usamah Hamdan said the ceasefire following eight days of deadly conflict in Gaza has paved the way for more countries to send much needed aid to the blockaded enclave.
Usamah said that currently Egypt was encouraging those wishing to help the Palestinians to use the Rafah crossing as the point of entry.