Israeli Student Collects 10 Truckloads of Basic Aid for Gazans

Hashomer Hatzair youth group helps gather supplies, as Negev kibbutz offers warehouse for storage.

A student at Sapir College near Sderot has over the past week collected 10 truckloads of basic supplies, which she hopes to deliver to the people of Gaza.

Hadas Balas, 25, says she felt she had to take action after visiting her college last week, where she heard the sound of bombs exploding in Gaza and the sound of sirens in Sderot.

"I realized there were people getting killed who had no food and nothing to drink, and that caused me a lot of pain," she said.

Together with her friend, Lee Ziv, 27, Balas wrote e-mails, asking people to donate to the humanitarian cause.

"We are working beyond the rules, with the common goal of ensuring the right to live to those who are alive," stated their e-mails.

The correspondence reached human rights organizations that passed on the women's appeal through their own e-mail lists, yielding more donations than the two had initially anticipated.

"I thought we might get two truckloads," Balas said. "I wasn't expecting 10."

A few non-profit organizations volunteered to help collect clothes, blankets and basic supplies.

The Jerusalem branch of Hashomer Hatzair, the Zionist youth movement's organization, helped collect the supplies along with the Greek Catholic Church's Beit Hachesed in Haifa.

Kibbutz Kfar Aza, which has seen countless Palestinian missiles slam into its premises, volunteered a warehouse to house all the donated supplies before they get shipped out to the Strip.

People seeking to donate clothes and other supplies continue to arrive to the warehouse in Kfar Aza.

The women's Jerusalem facility has run out of room, and their Tel Aviv storage space is also almost full.

The two women have also opened an Internet site whereby surfers can donate money to purchase food.

"We have a lot of money now, which we are going to use to buy food to get into Gaza," Balas said.

Although she was reluctant to speak in detail about how exactly she would get the trucks into Gaza, Balas said that she and her partner had "coordinated everything with the authorities."