Students of two middle schools in Turkey's southeast are selling fruit to raise relief funds for people of Gaza.
In a joint project launched by provincial school officials and the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH), children in Sanliurfa are setting aside their recess breaks to raise funds for residents of the Palestinian enclave.
Behçet Atilla, an official from the charity, told reporters the project's goals include raising funds for Gaza as well as raising awareness on the predicament of the enclave among the schoolchildren. "I bought this apple to help Gaza. May Allah help them. I think my help benefits them, even if it is only one apple," said fifth-grade student Yusuf Çakmak.
According to reports, some 80 percent of the people in Gaza rely on international aid to survive, while 40 percent live under the poverty line. Israel first imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which supports armed resistance to Israel, swept Palestinian legislative polls.
The following year, Israel ratcheted up its blockade after Hamas seized the entire strip - which it still governs today - from its rival Palestinian faction Fatah.
Still in effect, the blockade has crippled Gaza's economy and deprived its more than 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
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