Caritas medical clinic in Gaza destroyed by Israeli jet attack
12 January 2009
Caritas Internationalis have announced an emergency appeal for their humanitarian response to the Gaza crisis.
Caritas Jerusalem's ruined medical point in Al Maghazi
The appeal comes as news filters through from Gaza that one of Caritas Jerusalem's medical points in Gaza was destroyed by an Israel F-16 fighter jet on Friday.
The clinic, in the Al Maghazi district of Central Gaza, was completely destroyed in the bombing that also razed four homes. At least another twenty homes sustained heavy damage in the blast.
As all of the families had already fled the area and were staying in various schools of the district, nobody was hurt in the bombing. Five Caritas medical points remain in Gaza.
The Parish Priest of Gaza has referred to the deepening crisis there as "inhumane and criminal."
Of the 884 people confirmed dead, at least 275 were children, 93 were women and 12 medical personnel have also been killed. Supplies of medicine, food and blankets are all at critically-low levels as humanitarian access remains extremely difficult.
As part of the appeal, Caritas Jerusalem aims to provide medical services through its centres and mobile clinic, assist four of the Gaza hospitals in dealing with the crisis, as well as the direct provision of food, hygiene kits, financial support and blankets to people affected by the crisis.
The amount request by Caritas Jerusalem for this 7 month programme is €1,539,174.
Fr Manuel Musallam, Parish Priest of Gaza, said on the telephone from Beit Hanoun in Gaza this morning, "There is extreme fear everywhere here. The bombs the Israelis are dropping are literally cutting through people and through homes. Night and day the sound of children crying is everywhere. The people here don't sleep. They have lost everything.
“70,000 people are living in schools and they are very cold. The ones who haven't gone to schools are living in their bathrooms or stairwells because they are afraid of being injured by shattering glass from bombs. There is no water here. We are almost out of diesel for our generator that we have allowed people to come and cook from. When the diesel runs out we will have nothing.
"The Israeli aggression has made these people live like animals and our school is the zoo.
"There are dead bodies lying on the streets. The clinics are carrying out operations on the floor. Women have no place to give birth. One pregnant woman was shot on her way to a clinic to give birth. They tried to save the baby but it too was dead.
"Life and death for people in Gaza is the same."
For more information contact: Conor O'Loughlin, Caritas Communications Officer in Jerusalem +353-86-2071942
NOTES TO EDITOR:
As part of the appeal, Caritas Jerusalem specifically aims to: