Over 50 Christian homes and a Catholic school destroyed in Gaza
The principal of the Rosary Sisters School, Sister Nabila Saleh, shared how downhearted the whole community was after the destruction: "Everything is ruined. It is very sad. I am heartbroken."
The school provided for 1,250 students from destitute areas of Gaza, both Christian and Muslim. Fortunately, no one was killed in the airstrike, as everyone had been evacuated when the war started. The nuns, however, decided to stay and help local communities in despair.
The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need expressed their disappointment over cancelling an aid project that had already been approved for the school.
The nuns take care of over 750 disconnected Christians, including 100 children and 70 disabled people. They have set up a shelter for them at the Holy Family Church and the Orthodox Church of St Porphyrius, even though food and medicine reserves are running terribly low.
According to a local source: “The fighting is coming closer and closer. But without a humanitarian truce, there can be no evacuation because people are very scared – they are hearing about bombing in other areas in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, famine and lack of water and shelter are terrible in these other areas as well.”
The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem confirmed that 19 places of worship, including mosques and churches, were damaged in the first three weeks of the Gaza conflict. One of the buildings that was attacked was the Orthodox Cultural Centre. According to a representative of Aid to the Church in Need: “The centre, which was built after 12 years of hard work, was totally destroyed.”
The Patriarchate said: “In times of crisis and adversity, we turn to the words of Psalms 34:18, which remind us that ‘the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’. We pray for peace, justice, and a swift end to the suffering in Gaza.”