HOLY LAND

In war alongside the most fragile

The tragic attack perpetrated by Hamas on Saturday, October 7, is an unprecedented event that has shocked everyone.

We are very concerned by the spiral of violence and terror that this event has unleashed as it has caused and will cause more and more civilian casualties. In forcefully reaffirming our commitment to peace, we are preparing to offer all possible concrete help to the most fragile and needy victims of this situation.

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“Ask for peace for Jerusalem:
peace be to those who love you,
Peace be upon your walls,
security in your bulwarks.
For my brothers and friends
I will say: ‘Peace be upon you!’
Through the house of the Lord our God,
I will ask for the good for you.”

Psalm 122

Appeal for Peace from Jerusaelm

Jesus as a real presence that touches, that changes our lives: for this we must pray. Prayer does not allow the heart to be polluted by hatred. Then, of course, we must work from the point of view of humanitarian support through the associations. Right now we are all a bit paralyzed, but there will come a time when there will be a need for this, we must be ready and prepared

Card. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem


The appeal of the director of Pro Terra Sancta, Tommaso Saltini

Dear friends,

As head of Pro Terra Sancta, an organization engaged for many years in Israel and Palestine, I feel strongly challenged in the face of the events of these days. For years we have been engaged in various initiatives to support the Christian community of Gaza at the service of a population tried by decades of conflict, and the violence of these days frightens us, pains us, calls us into question.


We are against all violence and – as long as we are powerless in the face of it – we would like to stop it at all costs, because we love life and every human being, who is infinitely precious.


By virtue of this, as Association pro Terra Sancta, together with all the friends and collaborators involved, we ask all the parties involved – internal and external to the conflict – to promote opportunities for meeting and work to imagine new and creative solutions that bring development and peace for all.


We want a long-term political initiative to finally be implemented that gives space, life and freedom to all. This dramatic situation demands, invokes and demands new ideas, lasting political proposals that can make everyone live in peace and prosperity.


Let us invoke the Lord of heaven and earth so that He may embrace in His glory all the victims of conflict, bring peace to those who suffer, help us to forgive those who do evil.”

Tommaso Saltini direttore generale Pro Terra Sancta

Tommaso Saltini

General Manager Pro Terra Sancta

Voices from the field : Carla Benelli and the persistent opportunity for dialogue

“I have to admit that I didn’t expect this level of horror. Indeed, I’ve clearly witnessed hundreds of violent events: the first and second Intifada, bus bombings that I could hear because I’ve always lived in the Old City. However, truth be told, we had never seen an event like the Hamas attack on October 7th.

I am an art historian accustomed to working in conservation activities. One of the first things we do when dealing with a place or building that requires our intervention is to understand the cause. Imagine living in a house where it’s raining from the roof, and you try to fix it by placing buckets. If you don’t climb onto the roof, you don’t understand what’s letting the water in, and it can only get worse.

How many times have we said: be careful, we all need to be careful because the situation is becoming unmanageable and explosive? Unfortunately, our voices were like voices in the desert.

We are all victims at this moment. Palestinians are suffering unbearably, and their problem has deep roots, extremely difficult to solve. It is clear that returning home would be complex, but it is perhaps the most serious and difficult problem to solve, and that’s why it needs to be addressed. Not addressing the issue and not finding a balance can only continue to generate terrible pain. I would like to take you with me these days.

A colleague and dear friend of ours is in the hospital these days for health problems, and I happened to go to the hospital to visit him. He was born in Jerusalem and has an ID card that allows him to be treated at the Israeli hospital in West Jerusalem. I would like to take you all with me to see what happens in the hospital. Many workers are Palestinians, including doctors, many nurses and almost all the service staff. Guests are obviously both Israelis and Palestinians, and there is an atmosphere of dialogue and assistance. Yesterday, I was there, and an Israeli lady collapsed for some kind of breakdown. I was in the waiting room with Palestinian ladies. We all rushed to help the lady because humans behave like this, especially in difficult and uncomfortable situations. This happens in Jerusalem; this is the Jerusalem we all want and hope for.

Carla Benelli

To save cultural heritage of these territories, local communities must be involved, becoming the main protectors of their own heritage. This is part of our job and we continuously do it with schools, boys, children and teenagers.

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Next to the weakest

For years, Associazione Pro Terra Sancta has been carrying out numerous projects to assist the weakest sections of the population in Israel and Palestine. In Gaza we carry out assistance activities to the small Christian community and support the care for butterfly children, suffering from epidermolysis bullosa.

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