ROME, SEPT. 9, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The
parish priest of Holy Family Church in Gaza says the needs and
humiliations people are facing every day in the region are
This was the evaluation given by Father George
Hernández to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in
Father Hernández told ACN staff visiting Gaza for
project assessment that people have been "repeatedly subjected to
low-level flyovers and even bombardments by the Israeli Air
Israeli attacks began after the Popular Resistance Committee
in Gaza attacked a bus carrying Israeli soldiers on Aug. 18. The attack
The following week, there were 41 air strikes, ACN
reported, with a death toll of 17 Palestinians, 12 of whom were members of
radical Islamist groups. Another 20 were wounded, including six
Sister Davida of the Congregation of the
Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary told ACN that Gaza children are
still dramatically affected by the 2008-2009 war.
runs a school with 630 students.
"During the war, several girls died
of heart failure. Even today, many children react to aircraft noise with
fear and panic," she said.
Gaza is populated by some 1.5 million
people, only 3,000 of whom are Christian. The Church runs a number of
projects to support the local community.
The Latin Patriarchate of
Jerusalem funds two schools in Father Hernández´s parish,
attended by 1,100 boys and girls.
These schools, like the one run by
the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, accept students regardless of
their religion. Most pupils come from Muslim families.
restrictions in and out of Gaza continue to make employment difficult, and
it is reported that 80% of the population has no regular income.
March, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(UNOCHA) concluded that Israel´s "easing of the blockade on the Gaza
Strip since June 2010 did not result in a significant improvement in
people´s livelihoods, which were largely depleted during three years
of strict blockade."