Military or police, likely linked to Hamas. Photos taken in Gaza, 2006

Gaza and Southern Israel have been under attack in the past week. After an Israeli attack on the house of one of the leaders of the organization Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the group answered with firing hundreds of rockets on different places in the South Israel. The Israeli army retaliated with firing rockets on Gaza. In crisis like this, civilians suffer the most.

“It is hard to live in these times. It is difficult to buy food and other things because the borders are closed. In this time no goods enter Gaza and if they are available it is sometimes complicated to leave your home and my family because they would stay terrified on their own”, says a Christian man in Gaza. “I just went to get some food and tried to be back as soon as possible. We mainly eat food from cans.”

On Thursday 14 November he described the past night: “There was bombing everywhere last night, it was so difficult. They launched many rockets close to us. Me and my family were terrified, but it hurted my heart to see my children terrified.”

As a result of the violence of the past days, public life stopped. “There is no work, no school, no church meeting, no activities, no sleep and also no concentration to be able to do anything.” It is even hard to pray, he says: “I fight to pray.”

A Christian in the South of Israel says: “Israel finding itself under rocket fire is nothing new, however it is always very stressful. Today [written on Wednesday] we woke up to the sound of sirens blaring while rockets are being fired non stop on our cities. This time the whole country is sitting in bomb shelters, schools are cancelled across Israel, and all we can do as believers is pray.”

The violence in Gaza and Southern Israel followed the attack on and killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata in Gaza on Tuesday 12 November by the Israeli armed forces. The group answered with launching an estimated 400 rockets to Southern Israel in about 48 hours. Several Israeli citizens got injured.

Israel retaliated these attacks by firing on, what the Israeli army says ‘Islamic Jihad infrastructure’, killing dozens of persons. Israeli sources say 36 were killed, ‘including 25 terrorists’. Among the victims was one family of eight, including five children.

Please pray that peace will return to the South of Israel and to Gaza, for now there is a seize fire in place. Pray for the people who lost loved ones, pray for those who got injured and pray for our brothers and sisters living in these areas. Especially the Christians in Gaza and the Christians living in the South of Israel count on the prayers of their brothers and sisters around the world.

Palestinian Territories ranks no.49 in the WORLD WATCH LIST.


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