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

US bishops’ agency ramps up aid to Gaza amid hopes for indefinite ceasefire

 Following a temporary ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the U.S. bishops’ international humanitarian aid agency is ramping up its humanitarian assistance to Gaza with the hope that the ceasefire agreement will last indefinitely.

Bill O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services executive vice president for mission and mobilization, told Crux that the organization is assembling trucks of supplies in Egypt. Meanwhile, CRS staff in Gaza are preparing to receive the trucks and planning how to distribute those resources safely.

The news comes after Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day ceasefire in the war in Gaza on Nov. 22. In the deal, 50 Israeli hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 terrorist attack will be released, including women and children, in exchange for what Hamas said would be about 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would resume the war after the truce and continue its fight to destroy Hamas and release the remaining hostages. However, Israel also said that the truce would be extended an extra day for every 10 hostages freed by Hamas. The ceasefire goes into effect Nov. 23. The deal was brokered by Qatar, the U.S., and Egypt.

O’Keefe applauded the deal, as CRS has long called for a cessation of violence.

“That level of activity is good news, and we are actively and urgently ramping up our humanitarian assistance to take advantage of this pause however long it lasts,” O’Keefe said. “I hope it will last indefinitely, but we are taking advantage of it to meet as many needs of vulnerable Palestinians as we possibly can.”

O’Keefe added that CRS continues to pray for the release of hostages, and for the safety of civilians in harm’s way.

2023-11-29T08:12:09+00:00 November 29th, 2023|Categories: News|