Caritas Jerusalem is appealing for peace in Gaza following the death of the first Christian in the conflict, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has also called for an end to the violence, reports The Catholic Herald.
Fr Raed Abusahliah, Caritas Jerusalem director, said that an Israeli missile strike hit the house of the Ayyads, a Christian family in Gaza on Sunday.
Fr Raed said: 'The whole house was completely destroyed and the mother, who is 60 years old, died immediately. And her son, who is thirty years old, is severely injured. Two of his legs were cut and he has burns on 70% of his body. And damages in his head. So he is in a very critical condition.'
St Joseph’s Hospital in Jerusalem has been co-ordinating with the Israeli authorities and Caritas Jerusalem in order to allow Ayyasd’s transfer to St Joseph’s for treatment. St Joseph’s Hospital specialises in head and chest trauma and is run by Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition.
In a statement yesterday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, pleaded for peace. He said: 'Faced with the increasing violence that is engulfing the people of Gaza, my thoughts and prayers, and those of the Catholic community, are constantly with all those who have lost loved ones and whose lives are shattered in this conflict.
'The pain, anguish and sense of hopelessness of those men, women and children cry out that war is not the answer. As this conflict shows, violence breeds violence. Along with so many others, I plead for an immediate truce in Gaza that will not only put an end to this latest carnage but that will also address at last the core problems behind this conflict which has so blighted the lives of all the peoples of the Holy Land.'
Photo: Sister Muna Totah, a member of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, treats a young patient at St Joseph Hospital (CNS)
Caritas appeals for end to Gaza conflict after first Christian death (The Catholic Herald)