“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Caritas Jerusalem urges int’l community to halt the ongoing violence in the Holy Land

For security reasons, all Caritas Jerusalem operations in the field have been suspended following the escalation of violence and unrest over the weekend, which are reported to have left at least 1,700 people dead. In the wake of the recent events, all educational institutions and recreational facilities in Jerusalem are closed, along with the closure of West Bank checkpoints.

Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem, Anton Asfar, shared: “We want to express our deep concern about the escalating situation in the Holy Land, particularly the suffering of the most vulnerable individuals we support. We implore the international community to leverage their influence to swiftly halt this ongoing violence and strive for a just solution for all parties involved.” Mr. Asfar said that the great loss of life is very concerning and that the international community should not be indifferent to the plight of those suffering as a result of the war.

The Caritas member organization reports that many people have limited resources or access to basic needs, including electricity. Media reports state that over 80 per cent of households are without electricity. According to the UN, over 123,000 Gazans have been displaced due to the escalation of violence. These include Caritas Jerusalem staff. Around 74,000 displaced persons are currently seeking shelter in schools after thousands of families have had their homes either damaged or destroyed.

Caritas Jerusalem has launched the Gaza Staff Support System, referred to as ‘Together Putting Love into Action’ (TPLA). This initiative is dedicated to providing vital assistance and solidarity to colleagues based in Gaza who are grappling with extremely challenging and complex circumstances. The primary aim is to foster a strong sense of unity and emotional support within Caritas Jerusalem, recognizing the forthcoming nights in Gaza will be especially demanding. Presently, the staff at headquarters in Jerusalem and the West Bank work from home to be with their families and offer them the necessary support.

Caritas Jerusalem has an emergency plan ready to assist the population as soon as the situation allows. Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Alistair Dutton says, “Our Confederation assures Caritas Jerusalem of its support. We pray for peace and urge both sides to uphold international humanitarian law and guarantee access to humanitarian assistance to people in need”.

Last Saturday, October 7, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem released a statement unequivocally condemning any “acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or faith” and expressed their hope and prayer for the immediate cessation of violence. On Sunday, Pope Francis called for an end to the violence stating that, “terrorism and war do not lead to any resolutions, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people”.

Caritas joins its voice with Pope Francis and religious leaders in advocating for peace and extending charitable humanitarian support to all those who suffer by calling on the international community to increase its efforts to achieve enduring peace in the Holy Land.

2023-10-24T07:21:06+00:00 October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|