February 23, 2024

Since the beginning of the war on Gaza in October, the death toll has been estimated at 27,000 lives, with 66,000 wounded. Over 11,500 children are reported to have been killed. Now, some 120 days into the war, the humanitarian crisis faced by Palestinians continues to worsen.

Amid destruction in Gaza, more than 10 children are losing one or more limbs every day, and more than 1,000 children have had to have one or both legs amputated. This reality, according to Save the Children, is all the more harrowing as medical supplies and officials are in grave shortage. The United Nations deemed the land “a graveyard” for Palestinian children.

A newly-launched online auction is focusing its efforts on providing support for children who have been critically injured by the war. #BooksforGaza, led by writers Sonia Faleiro and Fatima Bhutto and literary agent Julia Churchill, is a global coalition of writers raising funds for the Ghassan Abu Sittah Children’s Fund. The fund is dedicated to providing medical support to children in Gaza, treating them in Lebanon, and alleviating the burden on Gaza’s fragile medical ecosystem.

Books for Gaza is offering limited, signed copies from authors across the world. Writers like Sally Rooney, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie, Ali Smith, Rupi Kaur, Elif Shafak, Lauren Groff, Olivia Laing, Naomi Klein, and Tommy Orange are amongst the lengthy list of participants. A number of children’s authors are also offering their works, like Nikesh Shukla, Katherine Rundell, and Jamie Smart.

Each book in the auction starts at £35, but people can donate more if they are able. All funds will go towards reconstructive surgery for children through the fund.

“The mission of the [The Ghassan Abu Sittah Children’s Fund] is to transport critically injured children and their carers from Gaza to Lebanon for surgical, medical, psychological, and social care, and to put in place a long term care plan for each child, with the goal of helping each child back into their communities where they will resume their life as normally as possible,” reads the auction’s mission statement.

At the time of writing, the initiative has pulled in over £38,300, meeting nearly 85 percent of its goal. The auction will run until Feb. 12.

In a post on X, Bhutto, one of the organisers of the fundraiser, wrote, “Come buy a book, and show the children of Gaza that the world has not turned a blind eye to their suffering and never will.”

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