HomeChurch & AsiaCaritas MONA appeals for ceasefire in Gaza

Caritas MONA appeals for ceasefire in Gaza

Caritas MONA, the Catholic Church’s humanitarian arm in the Middle East and North Africa, has issued an appeal for a ceasefire, unhindered aid access, and strict adherence to humanitarian law in Gaza.

“Every human being is important on this earth, and we hope that this will stop from both sides,” said Karam Abi Yazbeck, regional director of Caritas MONA. 

In a Vatican News report, Yazbeck lamented the death of Caritas colleague, 26-year-old Viola who was killed alongside her husband and infant daughter in an airstrike on the St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza three weeks ago. 

He said Viola “was one of 18 people who were killed during the airstrike that hit the Orthodox Church” three weeks ago, and “one of thousands who have been killed.”

Caritas MONA is facing immense challenges in delivering humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The severe limitations make it impossible to provide essential supplies such as food, medical aid, and fuel needed to sustain power for emergency facilities. 

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Yazbeck underscored the critical nature of the situation, saying, “Fuel is needed to keep emergency rooms, intensive care units, and surgical theaters operating.”

The situation is further complicated in the West Bank, where escalating tension and restrictions on travel since October 8 hinder Caritas members from reaching those in need. 

Yazbeck noted that staff members are now blocked in their locations, unable to carry out vital activities.

Despite these challenges, Caritas maintains constant contact with Gaza through daily updates from George Anton, the director of Caritas operations in the region. 

The organization provides psychological support remotely and is aware of the urgent needs, including the limited fuel supply in places like the Latin Church in Gaza, where refugees have sought shelter.

Amidst the relentless attacks, Yazbeck highlighted the terrifying situation faced by the Christian community in northern Gaza, who, due to various constraints, cannot relocate to the south.

Yazbeck, who is a Lebanese, expressed the urgency for a ceasefire to allow people to survive the ongoing crisis.

“It is terrible and we hope that a ceasefire might be approved or applied soon so at least people can survive what’s going on,“ said Yazbeck.

Caritas MONA, in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, issues a threefold appeal – urging an immediate halt to hostilities to save lives, calling for unrestricted access to provide essential aid to the people inside Gaza, and emphasizing the need to address root causes for a lasting solution and recognizing that the conflict’s initiation on October 7 is not the main cause.

Yazbeck expressed gratitude for Pope Francis’ repeated appeals for a ceasefire and the possibility of delivering humanitarian aid. 

The appeal aligns with Archbishop Caccia’s call for an immediate ceasefire and respect for International Law. 

However, Yazbeck emphasized the ongoing need for support and attention to alleviate the desperate situation on the ground.

As Caritas MONA focuses on the Gaza crisis, Yazbeck underscored the necessity of a broader humanitarian approach to conflicts worldwide. 

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