Hope for Latest Gaza Cease-fire

Palestinians celebrate a cease-fire in Gaza City Aug. 26. Catholic aid officials say they hope the Egyptian-brokered Israeli-Hamas cease-fire proposal will hold. (CNS photo/Mohammed Saber, EPA)

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. “Now it is up to leaders on both sides to make it happen, to move beyond” the same political hurdles. The cease-fire that took effect on Aug. 26 calls for the easing of the Israeli-enforced embargo to allow humanitarian aid and construction material into Gaza under strict monitoring. The agreement was the latest attempt to end a seven-week conflict in which more than 2,100 largely civilian Palestinians and 70 Israelis, including 64 soldiers, were killed. The Catholic organizations have coordinated their aid efforts, with Caritas Jerusalem focusing on food and cash assistance, while Catholic Relief Services is distributing nonfood items and Cnewa is helping to repair damaged homes and institutions.

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Christopher Rushlau
3 years 8 months ago
The cease-fire that took effect on Aug. 26 calls for the easing of the Israeli-enforced embargo to allow humanitarian aid and construction material into Gaza under strict monitoring. If those are the terms of the agreement, we pray that Gaza will return to the battlefield. It is not a prison. Its people have done nothing wrong. They deserve open borders. (Whom do you go to to get permission to breathe?) For Vietnam to expel the US invaders, its people accepted a kill-ratio of roughly sixty to one. Bill Clinton's "three million Vietnamese died" and the classic "57,000 US deaths".

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