Supporting Gaza’s First Responders: Smile Medical Team (SMT)

Smile Medical Team Founder, Aed Mohammed, with Gaza's child patients.

By Aed Mohammed and Ariyana Love

In the midst of suffering and siege in Gaza, Smile Medical Team (SMT) was launched in 2016, to help children with cancer, in addition to helping the elderly with diabetic foot disease.

SMT Founder, Aed Mohammed, started his first activities by offering psychological support to cancer patients, entertaining them and producing smiles, to counter the difficulty of chemotherapy. His team also helped children on dialysis to cope with their ailments, through fun recreational trips. SMT visits sick children, just to alleviate their suffering and pain.

The situation in Gaza began to worsen as the siege was tightened on the Strip after the 2014 assault, when thousands of besieged civilians were slaughtered and over 2000 were killed during 51 days of Israeli Occupation airstrikes, which killed entire families and left 450,000 children in need of immediate psychological support. 

SMT decided to seek donations from friends outside of Gaza, to help children suffering from cancer to go outside of the Strip for treatment. At present, there is no cancer treatment in Gaza, yet Gaza has the highest rate of cancer in the whole world!

With the intensification of sanctions and the imposition of the highest degree of siege on the population, SMT launched a relief campaign for the extremely poor and destitute families, ones that were classified under the extreme poverty line. SMT will continue providing food packages for these families, in addition to providing clothing to the children.

We live in a bad reality in Gaza. The war and criminal Siege creates extremely harsh economic conditions which are compounded by daily electrical outages and undrinkable water. Gaza also has the highest degree of unemployment.

In May of this year, UN stated that Gaza is now “unlivable.”

Great Return March 

Palestinian people know they must pay for their freedom in blood. Since the start of the large-scale, Great Return March demonstrations 6 months ago, we have witnessed a high number of casualties at the illegal Apartheid separation fence in Eastern Gaza Strip. There are also many complicated injuries due to the Military Occupation’s use of a variety of internationally banned weapons.

SMT volunteers, have been administering emergency First Aid during the peaceful demonstrations and they are needed now, more than ever, to continue saving lives and follow through with in-home visits to the injured.

Most people remember Razan Najjar, the volunteer Medic who was executed by an Israeli sniper, from a kill shot through her chest, in June. Razan and other SMT volunteers, had bravely tended to the wounded protesters from the beginning of the demonstrations. Today her sacrificed is honored on billboards across the USA.

Occupy Palestine TV saw that SMT was struggling to raise donations and decided to launch a campaign together with SMT, to help them continue their great work, tending to the Gaza community.

Since the Ministry of Health has been depleted of all Medical supplies, SMT has had to buy the most basic things out of their own pocket, like gauze, tourniquets and basic medicines.

SMT is continuing to provide Medical relief to injured protesters, in their own homes to prevent them from developing more serious complications or amputation of their limbs. The Israeli Occupation has used explosive bullets against civilians during the entire demonstrations, which tear bones to pieces. SMT has prevented many amputations thus far, through the course of their humanitarian work and their duty treating wounded on the battlefield.

Many SMT members have also been injured with gas bombs fired at them, by the Israeli “army” against the peaceful demonstrators.

The injured Gazans suffer greatly. Many people who were injured were amputated due to lack of facilities and treatment.

SMT is a group of young volunteers who work day and night for the relief of the sick and the injured.

In light of these difficult conditions, SMT continues to serve the Palestinian community in Gaza, through your generous donations.

Yes, we continue our humanitarian duty to help everyone here in Gaza.

If you would like to contribute to saving lives, please visit OpTv’s campaign for SMT
All donations from this campaign will go directly to SMT. The last day of our campaign is Sunday, November 11th.

Ariyana Love

Ariyana Love is Founder of Occupy Palestine TV, TLB Director of Middle East Rising and Goodwill Ambassador to Palestine (ICSPR, Gaza). Ariyana is Chairwoman of Meta Nutrients Trust, a Human Rights Defender and Activist.

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