ASIA/HOLY LAND - The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Twal: the truce is not needed if Gaza remains a desperate prison
Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - "The truce which has begun is a good thing, but it will not help if the conditions in Gaza remain those of a desperate land under siege, where only fear and frustration that feed hatred can grow.
It almost seems that it points at making Gaza a factory of desperate people, designed to easily turn into extremists ready for anything". The Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins, Fouad Twal in a conversation with Fides Agency, invites us to reflect on the insufficient long-term temporary suspension of military actions over which Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement. According to the Patriarch the structural conditions that feed blind hatred, starting from the embargo must be removed: "Even the tunnels built in Gaza", highlights His Beatitude Twal "are a product of the embargo in their own way: if you put an end to this siege, if you open up the streets and allow freedom of movement of people and goods, if you allow free fishing in the sea in front of Gaza, then everything will be able to move on the surface and no one will need to dig underground tunnels to pass".
According to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the perverse and blind desire to annihilate the enemy is turning the civilian population of Gaza in a sacrificial victim: "Just look at the names of the victims: 70 percent", noted His Beatitude "are women and children: it also suggests that, among the many tunnels, Hamas did not think of building underground shelters for the people".
With regard to international reactions, the Patriarch also sends an important message to those who continue to express verbal statements of solidarity with the suffering Christians and peoples of the Middle East: "Many letters from many friends who live in other countries and continents arrive. We thank you, but perhaps there is too little compassion and practical help. I went to visit the injured from Gaza who were welcomed in the French Hospital, and I was impressed. Even their families are in need of everything. We do what we can with Caritas and the resources of the Patriarchate, but we get little concrete and effective support from the outside. Messages and statements we read are not enough to say: we are with you". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 01/08/2014)
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