Article by Marc Aupiais
Caritas Internationalis, reports, that a local medical point: treating the people of Gaza: set up by Caritas Jerusalem, has been hit, by what they are calling an Israeli F-16 Fighter Jet. It was one of six points in the area. According to reports, given by the humanitarian umbrella organization: people are in dire situations: having lost everything: many stay in schools. There are stories, of three to a blanket, in "freezing" cold, and of the trauma experienced by children. A quote given from a source on the ground, as Caritas Jerusalem continues to work: feeding 3 000, having given many medical supplies to hospitals; and taking care of minor needs: they say: that Israel has given them the three hour daily window: when they should have given them a door.
A representative of the Humanitarian Organization: Caritas Internationalis: says:
"Thankfully, since all of the families from the homes had already fled the violence and were staying in various schools in the district, nobody was hurt in the bombing.
Indeed, the day after the bombing took place another medical clinic was destroyed by another Israeli bomb. On Saturday, a clinic run by the Middle Eastern Council of Churches in Al-Shuja’ia, east of Gaza City was completely destroyed by another fighter jet.
Not only now have Caritas Jerusalem lost one of their six local medical points in Gaza, but the people of Maghazi are temporarily without medical support and over $10,000 worth of medical equipment was destroyed. Caritas Jerusalem staff are now struggling to stretch their operations to Maghazi from the existing point at Al Mosaddar.
The bombing at the clinic comes at a time when medical supplies are severely depleted throughout Gaza. Since the medical points had decided to focus on minor injuries, thereby freeing up the hospitals for more serious cases, Caritas Jerusalem had already shared much of its stock of equipment to four hospitals. These include such essentials as adrenaline, syringes and alcohol. As the Caritas outlets come under severe pressure, the strain on the already-overloaded hospitals will only worsen.
Fr Manuel Musallam, the Parish Priest of Gaza, said in a telephone conversation from Beit Hanoun this morning, “There are dead bodies lying on the streets. The clinics are carrying out operations on the floor and women have no place to give birth.”"
(Caritas Internationalis' blog 12 / Jan / 2009)
Conflict in the Gaza Strip reemerged, after Terrorist grouping: Hamas: launched too many missiles into Israel, having shot first, after a 6 month ceasefire: causing public opinion in Israel to favor a counterstrike of the current proportion, or of lesser proportion: so as to stop rocket strikes against Israeli civilians. Israel's government, which was seen as too "soft" on the Gaza Strip issue, by many in Israel, was spurred on by public anxiety: with rocket-fire being aimed at their civilians: so as to launch an assault on the Gaza Strip: not controlled by the Palestinian government: but by Hamas. Israel has been accused of "disproportionate" force: in their response to the attack: by Caritas Internationalis, who also condemn rocket strikes into Israeli: by Hamas (An acronym in Arabic for: Islamic Resistance Movement).
"Project Caritas", the South African wing of Caritas Internationalis, along with other groups,such as the South African Council of Churches, the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (whose fund raising organization "Project Caritas" is), and even with partnership in the effort by COSATU (which is a controversial trade union, and has been implicated somewhat, as possibly not unbiased in this: by certain views expressed: against Israel, and in other matters, which cause many not to agree with them, in calls by their leader of being prepared to "Kill" for a Mr. Zuma; and by previous insults of the Ten Commandments, by Union Members, attempting to justify adultery), and the government: have collaboratively arranged for a humanitarian flight to get urgent, medically focused aid into the Gaza Strip. To donate to this c.f. : Joint SACC/SACBC Statement on SA Humanitarian Relief to Gaza 12 / Jan / 2009.
Statements,in a press release, we received by email, inform of what this mainly is focussed on:
"Key items to be dispatched as part of the relief operations include medical equipment, medical supplies, medicines, bottled water, food, baby milk, high energy and protein supplements, mattresses and blankets. These items would be purchased in South Africa from financial contributions made to the various groups involved in the appeal.
It has been agreed that Project Caritas, the official fund raising campaign of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) for humanitarian disaster relief would co-ordinate the Emergency Appeal on behalf of the South African Council of Churches."
(: Joint SACC/SACBC Statement on SA Humanitarian Relief to Gaza 12 / Jan / 2009)
Caritas Aotearoa (New Zealand branch): recently pledged $ 50 000 (probably their version of dollars, but it does not add NZ in front, so possibly, even likely, it is perhaps: actual dollars) to the situation, and Caritas Internationalis has asked for NZ $3.5 million to deal with the situation.
Caritas Jerusalem is doing work on the ground.
Here is a report from Caritas Aotearoa, on their efforts, and Caritas work on the ground (unrecognized characters were in the original, it was probably saved as the wrong format, on Alertnet):
"Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Mike Smith said its sister agency, Caritas Jerusalem, has a long established involvement in Gaza. Caritas Jerusalem will undertake the following:
� provide primary health care services and post-operative out-patient care to Gaza residents through its Caritas Medical Centre, mobile clinic and 6 medical points � assist 4 of the Gaza hospitals in dealing with the crisis, through the provision of medicines and supplies, including 2 ICU ambulances � provide supplementary food parcels to 4,000 families � provide hygiene kits to 2,000 families � provide financial support in the form of cash to 2,000 families and � provide blankets to 1,000 families.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand calls for an immediate ceasefire, asking both the Israeli military to cease its attacks on Gaza and Hamas to end its rocket attacks. Caritas Director Michael Smith said "An immediate permanent ceasefire is needed to enable the sick and wounded to be adequately treated. Innocent people are suffering and humanitarian assistance is desperately needed.""
(Caritas Aotearoa (Catholic; New Zealand based): speaking via AlertNet (Secular) 12 / Jan / 2009)
Caritas Internationalis is the umbrella organization of over 160 humanitarian organizations worldwide. It is a mainly Catholic relief organization, but employs, and helps persons of other backgrounds also.