I have just come away from a Bishops’ Conference Zoom call in which the Cardinal was telling us about a meeting he had attended in which the real suffering of the Catholic community in the Holy Land and also that of both ordinary Israelis and ordinary Palestinians was outlined. We have all been shocked and saddened by the devastating conflict in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. After weeks of intense conflict, over 18,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed, thousands more injured, and over 1.9 million people in Gaza are displaced. Food, water and fuel are in increasingly short supply. Families need urgent help. CAFOD in Gaza have been working closely with local partners to reach those who have been affected by the conflict, supporting 10,000 families with vouchers to purchase essentials like food, water, mattresses and bedding and to another partner supporting 300 people with shelter, support, food and solar lanterns, where access to power is limited. Sadly, staff and volunteers have already lost their lives.
Prayers are essential and calls for an immediate ceasefire. It is also possible in parishes to hold a collection or fundraising event to get families in the Holy Land the help they urgently need. CAFOD can also supply fundraising ideas as well as help to organise an event or hold a collection, including ‘how to’ guides, posters and collection envelopes. You can donate via CAFOD directly here or you could put something in an envelope to CAFOD marked “Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal” and hand in during the Offertory collection at Mass. [Image: CAFOD]