I fem års tid har IBBY hjälpt till att finansiera två barnboksbibliotek i Gaza, Rafah och Beit Hanoun, med hjälp av IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. Nu i veckan kom det sorgliga beskedet att båda biblioteken blivit bombade av Israel i det pågående kriget.
Liz Page, VD för IBBYs internationella sekretariat i Basel, skriver i ett brev till alla medlemmar i IBBY att hon fått följande rapport från PBBY, det palestinska IBBY, som i sin tur fått det från Abla Hassan, bibliotekarien i Beit Hanoun:
”The al-Ata’ community based centre that hosts the library has been targeted and very badly damaged. The children court yard has been destroyed as well as books, computers, windows and walls. As to houses of the children who use the library, three houses have been completely destroyed and thirty houses partially destroyed. The number of children or their family members killed is not known yet.
No known news about the library in al-Shawka – Rafah. All families are displaced including the librarian Mahmoud who left two days ago and described the situation: it was horrific, tens of civilians killed and tens of houses destroyed. No specific news about the situation of the children using the library and the library building.”
Liz Page skriver att IBBY:s grundare, Jella Lepman, var övertygad om att böcker kan bygga broar för fred och förståelse mellan folk. Hon fortsätter:
”These are our friends and colleagues, people who like you and I, who believe that through good books and reading we can change our futures and bring understanding between people. These children have no such belief any more.
As time goes on the situation in Gaza and the life of these children and families gets worse – they are trapped. This abominable war must stop and the blockades must be lifted. Tell your governments, share the news.
With deep sorrow,
Executive Director International Board on Books for Young People”