OPT: Caritas continuing its work in the Gaza Strip

News and Press Release
Originally published
June 27, 2007 - Gaza Strip - Caritas Jerusalem is continuing its humanitarian work under a very tense situation taking place in Gaza at the present time.

Today, clashes are taking place in the central Eastern district of Shejayea and ten Palestinians have been killed with several score injured in military confrontations with the Israeli army. In response, Caritas is working to respond to the urgent need for emergency medical care in the affected region.

"We are planning to conduct a health campaign in Shejayea in response to the urgent need for health care in that area" said Jameel Khoury, Caritas Jerusalem Health Department Manager. He also pointed out that in the last few days the number of people visiting our medical center in the Al Shati' camp has risen significantly. "We are working as normally as we can under the circumstances. Thankfully, we have prepared ourselves for this situation and have positioned medicine and items needed for the work of our medical clinic and mobile medical care clinic."

Caritas Jerusalem is also operating six medical points to address emergency medical needs in marginalized areas. "Thankfully, these medical points are operating as we have planned them. We have noted though during the recent problems in Gaza, it was too dangerous for people to reach these places because of the danger in the street" said Mr. Khoury. However, today, they are operating as envisioned giving urgent medical care to those in need.

Caritas Jerusalem is also working to respond to the urgent need for food provision in Gaza. Through the Caritas Jerusalem Social Service Department, we are currently assessing how best to respond especially focusing on those who are the neediest and the poorest of the people there. "We will be responding to these needs to the best of our ability immediately" said Mrs. Claudette Habesch, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem. Our response will be directed in coordination with other partners, relief agencies working in the area and the Parish Priest in Gazafocusing on non-refugee populations who receive support from UNRWA. She did point out, however, that it is essential that the poor and vulnerable people should not suffer and go without food and medicine even under the current circumstances. "We must keep food, medicine and supplies moving into Gaza even if doing so is not easy. We cannot allow the situation in Gaza to worsen more than it already is."

For more information, please contact us:

Communications Department
Caritas Jerusalem
PO Box 20894
Jerusalem 97200 Israel
Phone: 972 2 628 7574
Fax: 972 2 628 8421
Email: communication@caritasjr.org
Website: www.caritas.org/holyland