A bombing carried out by the Israeli army on Wednesday morning near the Holy Family Catholic Church in Gaza, has partially destroyed the adjacent parish school, the pastor’s office and some rooms used by the parish. The main target of the bombing was a home that is situated a few metres from the parish and was completely destroyed by the raid.
Parish priest Fr Jorge Hernandez said that yesterday afternoon, the Israeli army had begun to send SMS messages to residents of al-Zeitun - the eastern area of Gaza City which houses the Catholic and Orthodox parishes - and ordered them to leave the homes that were to be bombed. Many people ran away, but the evacuation was not possible for those who currently live in the church. Argentinian Fr Jorge Hernandez, a priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, said there were three nuns of Mother Teresa along with 29 disabled children and nine elderly women in their care at the parish of the Holy Family.
"We had a tough night, but we are here. This war is absurd", said Fr Hernandez. "After destroying the neighbourhood of Shujayeh, now Zeitun is being targeted. Everything happens around us. The Hamas militants continue to fire rockets and then hide in the alleys. And we cannot do anything. We cannot evacuate, it is impossible with children. Their families live here. It is more dangerous to go out than stay here. We try to stay in safer places, always on the ground floor. "
Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins said: "It is an absurd spiral: both sides must listen to the voice of reason, stop the bloodshed and begin negotiations in order to address and solve problems. Otherwise all this violence will continue to repeat itself cyclically, the same causes will continue to produce the same effects".
See also: ICN 29 July 2014 Gaza: Catholic Church told to evacuate ahead of Israeli bombing www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=25263