Aid official says Gazans have lost hope, situation worse than during war

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Six months after the end of the most recent war in Gaza, there is still a “grave humanitarian crisis” in the narrow strip wedged between the Egyptian and Israeli borders, where more than 1.8 million Palestinians live closed off to the world because of an international embargo. Following a visit to the…

Pope meets with Gaza priest: a moment of grace and hope

Vatican Radio – Pope Francis on Friday morning met with Father Jorge Hernandez, an Argentine missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and parish priest in Gaza. Speaking in Italian with Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti, Father Hernandez said the meeting with the Pope was a “grace” – and not the first. “On the contrary,”…

Catholic aid groups hope latest Israeli-Hamas cease-fire holds

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Catholic aid organizations are hopeful that the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold as they begin to assess the needs in Gaza after 50 days of war. “This is a window of opportunity,” said Sami El-Yousef, Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s regional director for Israel and the Palestinian territories….

CRS official: Gaza a ‘complete catastrophe’ on ‘brink of collapse’

AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — A top Catholic charity official described Gaza as a “complete catastrophe” after nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas. “Gaza is on the brink of collapse at this point,” said Matthew McGarry, who directs the Catholic Relief Services’ operations in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem….

Desperation of people in Gaza spurs violence, say cardinal, patriarch

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The president of Caritas Internationalis suggested Israeli and Hamas leaders pick up a pair of binoculars so they could see that “most of your victims are innocent people.” Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, president of the Vatican-based umbrella organization for national Catholic charities,…

TALE of two CONFLICTS

Official: ‘Everyone in Gaza considers themselves a target’ By Judith Sudilovsky Catholic News Service The situation in hospitals in the Gaza Strip is dire, and Palestinians are saying that medical supplies will soon run out, said a cardiologist who serves with the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza. Dr. Issa Tarazi, executive director of…