Laboratory technician Wisam Abu kmail packs up the Caritas mobile clinic in Al Sawarha City, an impoverished area lacking medical services in the west of the Gaza Strip. Credit: Katie Orlinsky/Caritas 2010

Caritas Jerusalem’s outgoing director Claudette Habesch says there is an urgent need for humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza in response to an upsurge in attacks between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. Speaking to Caritas Italy staff in Rome, she  expressed deep concern over the rising casualties.

Mrs. Habesch feared the possibility of an end to hostilities between Palestinians and Israelis was becoming more remote. Fighting has intensified in recent days following  Israel’s killing of Hamas’s military chief on Wednesday and rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel. Hamas say they have launched rockets from Gaza against Jerusalem – the first time the holy city has been targeted from the Gaza Strip.

Mrs. Habesch said , “There is an urgent need of aid. We need medicine for the wounded and shelter.” Caritas in Gaza continues to provide healthcare to several areas through mobile medical clinics and a health centre.

Despite the mounting conflict, Mrs. Habesch says Caritas continues to work in hope for a peaceful solution:  “We are confident that justice will bring peace and peace will bring reconciliation. Our work is a daily accompaniment of people who suffer to give them hope. Giving hope is already a way to work for peace.”

“I’m Palestinian, Christian and an Arab. I will never stop believing in and commit to dialogue and peaceful coexistence,” she said. “The Church of Jerusalem is the Church of the Resurrection, and it is the responsibility of the Christian world continue to bear witness and to bring hope,” she said.