Stemming from his belief in humanitarian duty and social responsibility, Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor, founder and chairman of the Emirati Al-Habtoor Group, donated a large number of fully equipped ambulances to the Gaza Strip in order to provide health assistance to Palestinians and address the health-related repercussions resulting from the Israeli aggression.
The first batch of ambulances was purchased and equipped with the latest medical equipment in Egypt. Islam Kamal Ghoneim, representative and CEO of Al-Habtoor — Egypt, handed them over to the Palestinian Red Crescent through Egypt’s Rafah crossing, in cooperation with the Council of Egyptian Tribes and Families, under the supervision of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Al-Habtoor said: “Standing by our brothers in Gaza, especially under these difficult circumstances, is an inevitable duty for every Muslim and Arab and for all those who consider themselves humanitarians. We have been committed to aiding them since the 1970s. The suffering of our Palestinian brothers is great, and we must all do everything we can to support their resilience.”
“This donation reflects the spirit of solidarity and humanitarian support to which Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor is committed,” said Ghoneim. “We hope that these ambulances will provide immediate support to improve the health conditions of our people in Gaza.”
Ghoneim added: “We thank and appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Council of Egyptian Tribes and Families for allowing us to implement this humanitarian initiative in these conditions that make it almost impossible to deliver aid. Without them, we would not have been able to accomplish this.”
Al-Habtoor has long been committed to supporting the Palestinian cause and the brotherly Palestinian people by contributing to improving their situation. In 2012, he made a 1-million-dirham ($272,279) contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency in order to support the Palestinian refugees in Syria, employ 200 Palestinian workers in the West Bank, provide thousands of Palestinian refugees with jobs and promote access to clean water and sustainable agricultural practices.
Additionally, as part of the UAE’s 2010 “Aghithouhom” (Help Them) campaign, which was dedicated to providing relief and support to the people of Gaza, Al-Habtoor donated 103 vehicles for the service sectors in Palestine. At the same time, he held a sports event under the title “UAE-Palestine Polo Cup,” the proceeds of which were fully allocated to projects supported by Taawon — Welfare Association, in marginalized areas and deprived communities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
He also supported the 2014 Palestine International Marathon, organized by Taawon under the slogan “Right to freedom of movement,” with $10,000.
During the same year, Al-Habtoor launched the Pathways of Peace at the University of Illinois, which mainly consisted of holding a symposium at the university for students to present historical examples of cultural, religious and ethnic conflicts, along with the steps that were taken to resolve them. At the end of the symposium, a group of the university’s students and faculty members traveled to the Middle East to find a solution that would put an end to the ongoing conflict, which is affecting the Middle East and the West.
Al-Habtoor also donated 3.7 million dirhams to The Carter Center in order to support the Middle East Peacebuilding Program, and particularly alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians.