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.
Hope for Latest Gaza Cease-fire