Emergency relief in Gaza
A small minority of about 1,300 Christians live in the Gaza strip among a total population of about 1.8 million. The population and specifically the children suffer from extreme hardship due to the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel in Gaza, the coming to power of Hamas, the operation “Cast Lead” in early 2009, the worsening of the violence after the operation “Pillar of clouds” carried out in november 2012 and “Protective Edge” in july 2014, as well as the Israeli blockade in general in Gaza.
The Gaza Strip
The Gaza strip is around 40km in length and 10km in width. This coastal area of land is home to 1,816,379 million Arab Palestinians, around half of which are minors. Around two thirds of the population are refugees, forced to abandon their homes following the wars of 1948 and 1967 and move to one of the 8 refugee camps now found on the Gaza strip. The high population density coupled with the difficulties following the recent embargo imposed as a security measure by Israel has made the Gaza Strip one of the most troubled areas in the Middle East. Most of the population survives on less than two dollars a day and around 80% depend on humanitarian aid provided by international organizations and other NGO’s.
The Catholic parish in Gaza
The Catholic parish in Gaza counts just under 200 members, at present. Despite a lively and warm community life, the atmosphere has unfortunately been dampened by recent events. Arab Christians face a difficult situation in the Muslim environment in Gaza, though they share the same fate as their Palestinian brethren – Israeli occupation and respectively the blockade of Gaza – being Christians, they aren’t part of the governing Muslim majority and thus are often viewed as collaborators of the West. The economy has long since collapsed, resulting in soaring unemployment and poverty. There are currently serious shortages medical supplies and little or no access to clean water.
The project of Association pro Terra Sancta in Gaza supports two activities:
Economic support to the families and Christian children in Gaza
Support to two facilities, offering training and education regarding respecting and taking care of disabled people in Palestinian society
Support the Holy Sites and the Christian presence in the Holy Land!
BY BANK TRANSFER
ATS – Associazione di Terra Santa Banca Popolare Etica IBAN: IT67 W050 18121010 0000 0122691 – BIC CODE: CCRTIT2T84A