The people in Gaza are hungry, thirsty,
have no electricity
By Fr. Mauel Musallam
Fr. Manuel Musallam is the parish priest at the Latin Convent in Gaza. He
wrote: "The people in Gaza are suffering unbelievably. They are hungry, thirsty,
have no electricity, no clean water and they are suffering constant bombardments
and sonic booms from low flying aircraft.
"They are suffering from hunger. They need food. Even if there is food for
sale, people have no money to buy food. The price of food, of course, has
doubled and tripled in the situation. They have no income, no opportunities
to get food from outside and no opportunities to secure money inside Gaza.
No work. No livelihood. No future. They have no hope and many very poor people
are aimlessly wandering around trying to beg for something from others who
also have nothing. It is heart breaking to see.
"We need food. We need bread and water. Children and babies are hungry. Unfortunately,
we are seeing sickness increase and to add insult to injury, people cannot
afford to pay for transportation to hospital. This is not only hard suffering
for now, but this fact will have long reverberations for the future. The
sicknesses we have now will degrade the future generation.
"Children are afraid. They are going on one week with no electricity. No
light at night. No oil or candles. Some can't even buy matches. These children
are seeing the exodus of their entities.
"Children are suffering from the sonic booms. Many have been violently thrown
from their beds at night. Many arms and legs are broken due to this fact.
These planes fly low over Gaza and then reach the speed of sound. This shakes
the ground and creates shock waves like an earthquake that can cause a person
to be thrown from their bed. I myself weigh 120 kilos and was almost thrown
from my bed due to the shock wave produced by a low flying airplane that
made a sonic boom. It is terrifying. It is like someone picked up your house
and shook it.
"We cannot drink water from the ground here as it is salty and not hygienic.
People can only buy water to drink. With no electricity to pump the water
from wells, no fuel to boil, we are all thirsty. Thirsty children are crying,
afraid and desperate. Of course, those who are sick in hospital are suffering
an unimaginable horror. There is no electricity to operate life saving machines
and the simplest of treatments is not able to be undertaken.
"These actions are war crimes. When I cry as a priest, I beg you; we do not
need pity. We only need justice. If you don't give justice, there will be
no peace. Peace is the farthest thing away from the mind of anyone, Christian
or Moslem, in Gaza at this time.
"Bombardments hit Gaza from the sea, air or land. I have an employee who
lives in Bet Hanoun. He told me he has not slept in one week. Gaza cannot
"I sent the Sisters of the Baby Jesus to Jabalia Camp to check on some poor
families. They returned to me crying at the unspeakable horror they saw.
The cries of hungry children, the sullen faces of broken men and women who
are just sitting in their hungry emptiness with no light, hope, or love.
Christians must work to stop this silly war. I am against fanaticism and
violence, but these actions guarantee an increase in violence.
"I demand that those outside of Gaza must care about us here in Gaza, Muslims
and Christians. There are no differences here in religion. A hungry child
is a hungry child. A sick person is a sick person. Our Lord demanded through
St. John that you remember us in our affliction. We are now in a serious