We have all watched the conflict in Gaza escalate in recent weeks, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without food, water, shelter or medical care. Thousands have been killed and injured.
We are working with our longstanding partners on the ground in Gaza, Caritas Jerusalem, Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief Palestine, who are working round the clock to get food, water, medicine, hygiene kits and emergency supplies to thousands of people, often at great personal risk.
The really pressing need is for aid to get through to the most vulnerable families. Our partners’ humanitarian aid workers can’t reach some of the worst hit areas without both Israeli and Palestinian authorities agreeing to allow humanitarian access to those in need of aid.
But aid alone is not a sustainable solution to this crisis. We can’t continue to watch this cycle of violence, both in Gaza and in Israel. So as well as immediate relief, CAFOD is committed to working for long term peace and justice for the region.
This is why we are primarily asking you and your parish to call on our UK government to show stronger support for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, humanitarian access, and a long term solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
What you and your parish can do
Please encourage members of your community to ask the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, to push for a comprehensive ceasefire and humanitarian access, and long-term measures to end the suffering and deal with the root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict. This can be done online:
Alternatively there is a simple petition (which can also be downloaded below or from our website, at http://www.cafod.org.uk/Gaza). It would be most helpful if you would check with your priest and then print copies and ask parishioners to sign it after Mass. Given the urgency of the situation, it would make the greatest impact if you could return signed petitions as soon as possible – the next week is critical.
If you would like to, your parish can also donate to our humanitarian work in Gaza, either with a collection in Mass, or on our website at http://www.cafod.org.uk/Gaza
Thank you so much for your support. Above all, please keep in your prayers those who have lost their lives, those who are grieving, and all those injured and left homeless in the bombing.
“We have to continue tirelessly to pray for peace. Prayers alone are not enough, there must also be a serious effort to reach a peace accord.”
Bishop William Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem
Please find below the text for a suggested bidding prayer and notice to include in your parish Masses and newsletters:
Let us pray for the many people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict in Gaza and Israel. We remember especially those who have died, those who are grieving, the injured and those now without food, shelter or medical supplies. We pray also for those who have the power to bring peace. May they be touched by a spirit of compassion and kindness.
Lord hear us.
Parish newsletter notice
Please help stop the violence in Gaza and get aid to families in great need. You can ask the Foreign Secretary to push for peace, or donate to CAFOD’s humanitarian aid on the ground. Go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/Gaza
And, if you choose to hold a parish collection, you can order gift aid envelopes for parishioners to put their donations into – call us for these on 0300 011 5680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CAFOD is appealing as part of a national response by the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC). In the unlikely event of income exceeding need for this appeal, additional monies will be allocated to other urgent emergencies.