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Jordanians donate 585 blood units for Gaza in four days

By Muath Freij - Jul 17,2014 - Last updated at Jul 17,2014

AMMAN – Eager to do whatever he can to help Gazans injured in Israel’s air strikes, 19-year-old Ehab Salameh decided to donate blood for them.

“Gazans are in dire need of blood. This is why I came tonight [Wednesday],” the university student told The Jordan Times as he waited for his turn to donate blood. 

Salameh is one of hundreds of Jordanians who responded to a campaign to collect blood for wounded Gazans.  

The overall death toll from 10 days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip rose to 231 on Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse, with 1,690 people injured.

Basem Kiswani, the coordinator of the donation drive, said the Professional Associations Council decided to hold a campaign at the associations’ complex in Amman’s Shmeisani area to collect blood for Gazans in need of medical assistance. 

He added that the Ministry of Health and the National Blood Bank were cooperating with organisers.  

A four-bed van parked outside the complex received people who wanted to donate. 

“An eight-member medical team worked during the campaign. It took between 15 and 20 minutes to donate,” Kiswani told The Jordan Times on the van as he directed donors to their chairs.  

The medical team examined potential donors to check if they could donate blood, asking them about their medical history and general health, he added.  

The campaign, which began on Sunday, wrapped up on Thursday. But Kiswani said it might be extended if the need arises. 

“Until Wednesday, we collected 585 blood units. This is our duty as Gaza is subjected to a severe attack from Israel. They sacrifice their lives for our nation and we have to give them at least our blood,” he said.  

“We will transport the blood to the Gaza Strip via the Jordanian military field hospital there.”

In addition to the Professional Associations Complex, donations were also received at the National Blood Bank branch in west Amman and Al Bashir Hospital in east Amman. 

“We opened the doors for people who wanted to donate from 9pm until 2am because it might be difficult for them to donate during the fasting hours,” Kiswani said. 

Ziad Awad, an 18-year-old university student, said donating blood is the least he can do for the people in Gaza.

“I hope that the siege they are living under comes to an end,” he said, adding that he encouraged his relatives to donate as well.

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