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2014-07-17

ASIA/HOLY LAND - Gaza, three missiles close to the Catholic parish. Scuffle to look for food during the "humanitarian truce"

Gaza (Agenzia Fides) - The 5-hour truce - from 10 to 15 local time - proclaimed also to allow the entry of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip should also allow the evacuation from the area of a few hundred people. Among others, the three Sisters of the Institute of the Incarnate Word - all foreigners - operating at the Catholic parish dedicated to the Holy Family are preparing to leave the Strip, too. "Yesterday afternoon, after five pm" said the Brazilian Sister Laudis to Fides Agency "three missiles destroyed a house very close to the parish. For several days the Sisters of Mother Teresa with the 28 disabled children and nine elderly women cared for by them moved to the parish because they considered it a safer place. And all of them will remain in Gaza, along with the parish priest Fr. Jorge Hernandez". Since ten o'clock - sources of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem report – the permanent Eucharistic adoration has begun in the parish and today the Holy Mass will be celebrated "to implore forgiveness for all, justice and peace". In short messages disseminated by the Institute of the Incarnate Word, Fr. Jorge and Sr. Gladis describe in detail the condition experienced by the small Catholic community and the entire population of Gaza: "What is certain", writes Fr. Jorge "is that crimes are increasing. (...). Young children are beginning to get sick because of fear, stress, shock waves and for the continuous noise. Parents are doing everything they can to distract them by playing, jumping and dancing every time they hear an explosion".
Meanwhile, to date, the death toll of the Israeli military operation on the Gaza Strip has caused at least 227 deaths among Palestinians, mostly civilians. In the few hours of the ceasefire, the population of Gaza is out in the streets to get money from the banks and buy basic necessities. (GV (Agenzia Fides 17/07/2014)

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