Caritas-Jerusalem Aids Medical Care in Gaza

Also Aims to Ensure Food Supply

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JERUSALEM, JULY 26, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Given that the armed conflict in Gaza prevents Palestinians from having access to hospitals, Caritas-Jerusalem has distributed 23 first-aid kits to qualified doctors and hopes to provide 10 more.



According to a communiqué today, the Catholic aid institution in Jerusalem explained that "The first-aid kits were distributed and targeted to areas of intense fighting."

The distribution was made possible through the support of numerous Caritas partner organizations which have responded to Caritas-Jerusalem's special operations appeal "Emergency Support for Palestine."

So far Caritas partners from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Japan, Spain, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France as well as other organizations, such as Aid to the Church in Need from Germany, have committed to support this appeal. The appeal for close to $1.5 million was issued in May.

Caritas-Jerusalem is also working to help families get food. For five months, government workers have received little or no pay, and economic activity has almost ground to a halt in the Gaza Strip.

"We anticipate that our actions regarding distributions of food coupons will result in almost 10,000 hungry people securing basic food to help them during this current situation," explained Caritas.

Peace plea

Caritas-Jerusalem urges an immediate cessation of violence in Gaza and requests that all parties end attacks and counterattacks so that efforts to restore order, treat the injured and get aid to those in need can take place.

"Killing, aggression, hostage taking and efforts to harm a civilian population are wrong and must be condemned in the strongest terms with a view to end them immediately," stressed the Catholic aid institution.

Caritas-Jerusalem suggested that all contact their "religious leaders and elected representatives … to ensure that the situation in Palestine, Israel and Lebanon not be allowed to spiral out of control and descend into a deeper abyss of despair, hopelessness and violence. Gaza particularly needs to see an end to violence."