Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) – An aid appeal to meet the urgent needs "of our brothers and sisters in Christ especially in Gaza and in places severely affected" during the latest armed conflict which for eleven days again shed blood and devastation in the Holy Land. The initiative was launched yesterday, Tuesday May 25, by Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. In a short message, spread by the official channels of the Patriarchate, the Archbishop addresses himself first of all to the parish priests and faithful of all the patriarchal parishes, inviting them to give the Christian community of Gaza all the offerings collected during the masses on Sunday May 30, solemnity of the Holy Trinity. "I ask you to share some of your resources to alleviate the sufferings of our Christian faithful in Gaza", who are suffering "after the war of recent days", while the battle against the pandemic is also being fought in the Strip. Covid-19, "that continues to spread in their area". The Patriarch thanks the recipients of the appeal for the generosity with which they will respond to his request, recalling "our Lord did promise a hundred-fold return to those who make certain sacrifices for others". The website of the Latin Patriarchate also publishes the numbers of a series of bank accounts opened with banks in Palestine, Israel and Jordan, accounts to which cash donations can be paid for the Christian community of Gaza. At two o'clock on Friday May 21, after 11 days of conflict, Israel and the Palestinian armed factions of Hamas and Islamic Jihad accepted the ceasefire. The truce resulted in the interruption of Israeli bombing raids on the Gaza Strip and the launching of rockets on Israeli territory by Hamas. According to official data provided by Hamas - the Islamist faction that controls the Gaza Strip - the Israeli air force raids on the Strip caused 227 victims (including 65 children, 39 women) and about 1,900 injured.
The launch of more than 4 thousand rockets by Hamas caused 12 deaths on Israeli territory. On May 14, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for Palestine and the Holy City, confirmed to Agenzia Fides that the Israeli air force bombings on the Gaza Strip had also hit the homes of Christian families located near the Catholic parish of the Holy Family, also causing damage to the convert and the nursery school of the Sisters of the Rosary. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 26/5/2021)