Caritas Jerusalem Decries Killing of Innocent Children in Gaza

Says Such Attacks Are Not How Security Is Achieved Following Latest Israeli Raid

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 807 hits

Caritas Jerusalem has condemned "the violence and killing of innocent people" in Gaza "especially those against women and children", and said this is not how security is achieved.

A third day of an Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory yesterday caused 14 deaths, including seven women and four children, local medical sources said. In only a few hours during the night of July 9 -10, the Israeli air force carried out more than 300 raids, Fides reported. 

Unlike previous military campaigns, in which bombing targets were mainly police stations and government buildings in the hands of the Islamists of Hamas, this time civilian houses and buildings and refugee camp areas are being hit, according to witnesses.

While attending the semi-finals of the World Cup football match between Argentina and the Netherlands in a bar of a village in the Gaza Strip, eight victims were hit by a rocket.

Following the attacks, Egypt opened the Rafah crossing to allow wounded Palestinians to be assisted in the health facilities in the north of Sinai.

Faced with a growing number of victims and injuries -- some estimates say nearly 100 have been killed -- Caritas Jerusalem warns of a looming humanitarian emergency for the people of Gaza.

Through many projects and activities on the coastal strip, the organization provides support including a mobile clinic and a health center for psychological assistance for children. Often these children have artifical limbs, amputated due to previous Israeli military operations.

Since the start of the raid, all activities have been suspended. Therefore, Caritas workers present in Gaza are preparing for emergency interventions that will only be carried out when Israeli air strikes end.

In a statement Caritas sent to Fides, it recalls that these people already live in "a tragic situation" due to an embargo they have been subjected to for 12 years, and a conflict that has lasted eight years.

The statement reaffirms "the right of Israel to live in peace and the Israelis to live in security," but states that this right can never be guaranteed "by war and aggression against innocent people."

Rather, it suggests the only way to achieve peace and security is "justice and a resolution of the conflict," which can make its way only by recognizing the Palestinian people's right to live in freedom in their own land and allowing Gaza to be open to the world.

The Israeli raids, named Operation Protective Edge, are in response to an escalation of rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas. The operation also follows a chain of events that began with the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers last month, for which Israel blamed Hamas. (D.C.L.)