Ahmed Abbasi, who heads the Gift of the Givers office in Gaza, has become the latest victim of the ongoing Israel war on Gaza in Palestine.
The humanitarian organisation has confirmed that Abbasi, along with his brother, was killed by members of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) while returning from a morning prayer on Thursday.
“Abbasi, a father of three, served the people of Gaza with distinction since 2013 after being appointed as the head of the Gift of the Givers office in the region,” said the South African-based organisation in a statement.
“He was responsible for implementing multiple projects including the care of orphans, widows, the elderly and the ill.
“He delivered water through our desalination plants, distributed food parcels, provided hot meals and upgraded damaged homes.
“A few days ago, he mentioned that it’s better to sit with his family of 34 in their own apartment and wait for their turn to die in dignity, as unarmed martyrs, rather than run from place to place as directed by the IDF.”
Unarmed civilian bombed
Gift of the Givers said Abbasi was a witness to lies and deception of the IDF asking communities to move to safety and then bomb them as they flee the war, killing hundreds of unarmed civilians.
Said Gift of the Givers: “We are grateful that he served us for 40 consecutive days during this war where the cold-blooded murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide of a defenceless civilian population, caught up in a ghetto, took place at the hands of the anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, anti-Christian and anti-Muslim, inhumane Zionist Israeli murderers.”
Responding to escalation in hostilities, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that South Africa has filed a referral to the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.
Speaking during his state visit to the Middle East in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Ramaphosa accused the Israeli military of turning Gaza into a concentration camp.
Gift of the Givers said it backs Ramaphosa’s call to bring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to book.
Call for dismissal of ambassador
The organisation also said it supports motions for the dismissal of the Israel ambassador to South Africa.
“We also fully support the motion in parliament today [Thursday] for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador with immediate effect and the severing of diplomatic ties with the apartheid state of Israel.
“We want to add that Israel should be held accountable to pay war reparation in the rebuilding of Gaza and compensate every single family they have decimated,” said Gift of the Givers.
In a poignant tribute, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers, bid farewell to Abbasi, emphasising that justice will be served and that Israel has already lost in God’s eyes.
“To the Almighty, we belong, and to Him is our return. Rest in peace my friend, you have served with distinction,” said Sooliman.
“Justice will be done, God’s wrath will descend, and truth will be made to manifest. Israel has already lost.”