The people in Gaza  are hungry, thirsty, have no electricity
By Fr. Mauel Musallam
Posted 8.23.2006

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 sleep.
"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 affliction."