Gaza (Agenzia Fides) - The Pontifical Mission for Palestine has published a detailed report on emergency measures it put in place for the people of the Gaza Strip after the "Pillar of Smoke" military interventions conducted in the area by Israeli armed forces in November 2012.
Eight days of raids that caused the deaths of 165 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians.
The assistance and rescue interventions – explains the report sent to Fides Agency - started immediately after the cease-fire, thanks to donations - amounting to 400 thousand dollars – which came from several foreign and international organizations, including the German missionary childhood Society (Kindermissionwerk). The areas of intervention were: health services, psycho-social assistance and reparation of homes and property for social use, damaged by bombing.
In the medical field, the Pontifical Mission tried to alleviate the shortage of medicines and medical tools which after the end of the military interventions also made the rescue of the wounded dramatic. Medicines and equipment provided by the Pontifical Mission contributed to health care assistance concerning more than 17 thousand people with particular attention of providing food and adequate services to pregnant women and treatment of intestinal infections caused by the use of polluted water. The psycho-social support programs were set up in favor of almost 6 thousand boys and girls traumatized by the bombing and the experience of having to leave their homes. The screening carried out on traumatized childhood in Gaza brought to light several cases of learning disorders related to the difficult conditions experienced by children living in the Gaza Strip. Finally, a part of the intervention of the Pontifical Mission was allocated to construction work to repair the damage suffered by the private homes of more than forty Palestinian families and the buildings of many public institutions, including schools of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the local Greek Orthodox cultural center.
The Pontifical Mission for Palestine, currently administered by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), is an Agency established by the Holy See in 1949 to assist Palestinian refugees. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 04/02/2014)