Harout Bedrossian, communications officer for Caritas Jerusalem Finally it is quiet today. Last night’s ceasefire between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel put an end to a week of brutal warfare which caused suffering on both sides of the border.
Salem Boulos Sweilem, a father of five, dies from fear when bombs fall near his home, writes Ameen Sabbagh from Caritas Jerusalem. On the 19th of November 2012, in the middle of the roar of Israeli warplanes that are constantly bombing Gaza. Salem, a close neighbour to the Caritas Health Centre in Shate Refugee Camp died. On that particular day Salem felt very exhausted and frustrated from lack of sleep, so he went to bed to get some rest. That night Israeli warplanes dropped four missiles each weighing more than a ton on and around the Palestine Stadium, which is about 100 metres from the Caritas Health Centre.
Harout Bedrossian is a communications officer for Caritas Jerusalem. He’s been sending us frequent updates on the situation in Gaza. Here’s the latest. We’re technically into day 8 of Operation Pillar of Cloud. I woke up very optimistic today after last night’s announcement of a ceasefire being brokered by Egypt, but was very disappointed when I switched on the T.V. this morning and found out that nothing had changed on the ground. The bloodshed, the madness, the slaughter of innocent children, women and civilians is still going on… The ceasefire, which was announced from Cairo, was supposed to begin at midnight between Monday and Tuesday. Some twenty minutes after the announcement, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) dropped leaflets in parts of Gaza urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately”. “For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City centre,” leaflets dropped over […]
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.
Representatives from Caritas Jerusalem, the Pontifical Mission and the Secretariat de la Solidarite visited Latrun Monastery yesterday in the wake of a vandalism attack. The monastery is 25 km west of Jerusalem. In the attack Tuesday, vandals spray painted “Jesus is a monkey” and the words “mutual responsibility” along with the names of evacuated illegal settler outposts Upper Migron and Maoz Esther, in large orange letters on the outside of the monastery.
Available in French By Laura Sheahen, Caritas Communications Officer A black pupil within azure and indigo swirls, the ‘ayn’ is supposed to ward off envy and the evil eye. These round, blue glass objects are ubiquitous in the Middle East. It’s hard to imagine who would envy the three bedraggled children I’m talking to in eastern Lebanon. Or how much worse their luck could get. Every day, the kids—a boy aged 10, his seven-year-old sister, and a girl aged 9—take a paid car alone from the refugee area where they’re living to the city of Zahle. All afternoon, they roam the streets of Zahle, trying to sell as many ayn as they can. The children are Syrian refugees, part of an exodus that has poured into Lebanon and other countries since spring 2011, but especially in July 2012. Here in Lebanon, some refugee families are living with host families or […]
By Claudette Habesch, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem Since 1948, we Palestinians have experienced dispossession and exile. Our diaspora counts today more than 9 million people all over the world. Since 1967, we Palestinians continue to live under occupation. Checkpoints, the separation wall, lack of access to farmlands and humiliation are part of our daily life. For years, we plead for justice so that peace can come to the two peoples of the Holy Land. For years, we are asking for justice and an independent Palestinian state. After decades of fruitless negotiations and faced with a shrinking homeland, we felt compelled to go to the United Nations to ask for the full recognition of the State of Palestine. We hope the nations of the world will respond to our call for the respect and dignity of the Palestinian people at the General Assembly of the United Nations. On this day of Solidarity, we wish [...]
By Claudette Habesch, General Secretary of Caritas Jerusalem Greetings from the Holy City of the Resurrection, City of Hope where life conquered death. This week will see an important event for us all in Palestine and Israel. The Palestinian Authority will request the United Nations to vote on the recognition of Palestine as a full member state. At Caritas Jerusalem, we have seen the ravages of the occupation on the people for the past 44 years. There is the destruction of houses and crops, the discrimination for access to resources and services, the fear of random arrest and the creeping despair that eventually we might lose the our land to Israeli settlers. The feeling of injustice and humiliation is in every heart. If Palestine becomes a UN member, Palestinians will regain their dignity. They will be considered as equals in peace negotiations and when defending their cause in the UN forum. They [...]