Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 9 February 2024
Holy Land: Four months of conflict, Caritas faces humanitarian challenges :

It has been almost four months since the latest round of conflict in the Holy Land began on 7 October 2023, resulting in unprecedented levels of destruction and suffering. As a result, the humanitarian crisis within the region continues to deepen.


Caritas Internationalis stands at the forefront of the humanitarian response, reiterating its call  for a permanent ceasefire and for unimpeded  humanitarian access to protect   civilians and meet their needs in strict adherence to International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law. Caritas also calls for the immediate release of all hostages and all those arbitrarily detained.


The humanitarian needs continue to grow, with civilian protection increasingly compromised. Ongoing hostilities have not only perpetuated suffering across communities but have also deeply affected our Caritas family, with the tragic loss of two colleagues, Viola Amash and Issam Abedrabbo. The siege, marked by severe restrictions on essentials such as electricity, food, and fuel, alongside ongoing military operations, has drastically worsened living conditions and safety for civilians.


A poignant example of the conflict’s devastating impact is the ordeal faced by a Caritas Jerusalem staff member, A.D., living in Gaza. Forced to evacuate his home following warnings to relocate southwards, A.D. and his family sought refuge in Khan Younis.


There, amidst 57 others in an overcrowded shelter, they lived in constant uncertainty, their days marked by scarcity and fear.


The situation took an awful turn in December, just before Christmas, when an airstrike destroyed their temporary shelter. A.D., although he survived, sustained shrapnel wounds and injuries from the collapsing structure. Members of his family were equally affected, with his older brother requiring an amputation due to a severe leg injury. Displaced once again, they faced the reality of inadequate medical care, with A.D.’s brother awaiting further treatment and the desperately hoping in the possibility of being transferred to Turkey or Egypt, where specialized care might offer a path to recovery. Amidst this turmoil, A.D. remains by his brother’s side at the hospital, separated from the rest of his family and haunted by the fear for their safety.


Caritas Jerusalem is unwavering in its commitment to serving the most vulnerable throughout the Holy Land. Our mission to alleviate suffering and foster resilience is more vital than ever. We are dedicated to providing principled humanitarian assistance, supporting recovery, and staying close to the people affected by the conflict.