Israel is currently relocating settlements within the long disputed Gaza Strip and a portion of the northern West Bank pursuant to a historical peace agreement reached with the Palestinians.  While there has been extensive media coverage on the impact the relocation will have on the Middle East peace process and the Israelis, the animals living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have mostly been forgotten.  Fortunately, an Israeli zoo located within Gaza made plans to evacuate the animals ahead of the Israeli pullout.      The animals living in the zoo have certainly suffered enough.  The zoo is located only a few yards from a Palestinian refugee camp where militants frequently fire mortar bombs and rockets at Israeli homes and army posts.  When the fighting was the heaviest about four years ago, most of the babies in the zoo died.  Unfortunately, instead of relocating these animals to a peaceful sanctuary, they are being relocated to another zoo within Israel, where they will continue to be kept in captivity outside of their natural habitats.  

Even more disturbing, as Israeli settlers are being forced to leave the area, hundreds of cats are being left behind.  Fortunately, volunteers from the Cat Welfare Society of Israel recently rescued over 100 cats over a period of three nights.  These cats were found abandoned in the two settlements that have already been evacuated.  Keep in mind there are still 23 more settlements that are to be evacuated before the “disengagement” is complete. 

These cats need to be rescued or they will starve to death.  Once they are rescued from the abandoned settlement, they will need to be moved to Marchig Trust Sanctuary, which is in desperate need of funding to expand its facilities in order to accommodate all of the cats. 

Please contact Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at and urge him to allocate funds to rescue these animals, provide them with food and veterinarian supplies, and transport them to the Marchig Trust Sanctuary.  Urge Mr. Sharon to assist in funding the necessary expansion of the sanctuary so these cats can be properly cared for after their arrival.    

To read an example of a letter written to Mr. Sharon,

To visit the Cat Welfare Society of Israel website (an EXCELLENT website),