January 7, 2015
Six months since the beginning of the 2014 conflict in Gaza, Claire Grant from CAFOD’s Humanitarian team reflects on the difference made by donations from Catholics in England and Wales.
Everyone in Gaza has a story. A story of longstanding hardship, of uncertainty, of loss and of hard-earned survival.
The 50 days of conflict last summer – which gave rise to Israeli bombardments, Palestinian rocket attacks and ground fighting – took their toll, killing more than 2,200 people, destroying over 20,000 homes and countless livelihoods. More than 2,000 of these people were Palestinian civilians, including 519 children.
In December, the media pictures of the destruction became real to me as I travelled to Gaza to meet families and communities supported by CAFOD, who each had their own personal stories to tell.
The Gaza Strip is merely 25 miles in length and seven miles wide. A short drive is therefore all that it takes to get an accurate picture of the devastation that shook the region to its core this summer.
My first meeting was with a young father, Mohammed Abu Anzah, who had been forced to flee his land with his family when his house was destroyed during aerial bombardments. He has now returned to his land, and I found him hard at work with a team of local labourers who had been funded by CAFOD to rehabilitate the area.
Standing beside his two little daughters, who were playing amongst the debris and building material, Mohammed told me how grateful he was that he can now plant olive trees, beans and chickpeas, which he will sell at the market. He is also building back his house. Continue reading “Gaza crisis: six months on”