Gaza’s Christians gather in prayer for peace in midst of war

2014-07-18 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio/Fides) As fighting intensifies in the Gaza Strip, faithful are gathering in the parish Church of the Holy Family to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for forgiveness, justice and peace for all.

In the early hours of Friday, Israel launched a Gaza ground campaign after 10 days of bombardments from the air and sea failed to stop militants' rocket attacks, stepping up an offensive that already has taken a heavy toll in civilian lives.

Gaza health officials said 238 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since Israel began the air and sea offensive on July 8 in what it called a response to mounting rocket salvoes into its cities.

One Israeli civilian has been killed.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking after the announcement of the ground assault, implored Israel to do more to stop Palestinian civilian deaths.

Jordan's U.N. mission said it has requested an emergency Security Council meeting.

Fighting resumed immediately after the end of a five-hour humanitarian truce on Thursday requested by the United Nations to allow Palestinians in Gaza to stock up on food and essential items.

Israeli aircraft bombed a house in Gaza City, killing three children, while two other children died in separate attacks according to the Gaza health ministry.

Missiles also fell close to Gaza’s Parish of the Holy Family where the Sisters of Mother Teresa and the 28 disabled children and nine elderly women in their care had sought refuge.

In short messages parish priest, Fr. Jorge, described how young children are beginning to get sick because of fear, stress, shock waves and for the continuous noise.

He added that since Thursday morning permanent Eucharistic adoration is being held in the parish and Mass will be celebrated Friday "to implore forgiveness, justice and peace for all ".


(From archive of Vatican Radio)