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Charities to raise cash for Arab healthcare

    Hundreds of critically ill Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza will have access to improved healthcare under a landmark collaboration between a Jewish and Christian organisation in Australia.

    Hadassah Australia and Anglican Overseas Aid launched “Project Rozana” last week to raise more than $500,000 a year to help treat sick Palestinian children and train Palestinian doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital.

    “All those trained will return to the West Bank and Gaza to build the capacity of the Palestinian healthcare system,” said Hadassah Australia president Ron Finkel, a former president of the World Union of Jewish Students in the 1970s.

    But the Palestinian girl who inspired the project failed to appear at the launch in Melbourne last Friday. Rozana Ghannam, who was saved by Hadassah doctors after she fell from the window of her apartment block near Ramallah last year, was unable to leave Ben-Gurion Airport due to complications over travel documents.

    “In addition, I was subjected to harsh treatment at the airport, a reflection of what Palestinians have been suffering,” her mother, Maysa, said in a speech at the launch.

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