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Parish priest: Gaza residents living like animals; Israeli jet destroys Caritas clinic

Catholic World News - January 13, 2009

An Israeli jet fighter destroyed a Caritas medical clinic and four neighboring homes in Gaza on Friday. Caritas International is the international association of Catholic relief agencies.

Father Manuel Musallam, Gaza’s parish priest, described the situation there in a telephone conversation with Caritas yesterday. “There is extreme fear everywhere here. The bombs the Israelis are dropping are literally cutting through people and through homes. Night and day the sound of children crying is everywhere. The people here don't sleep. They have lost everything.”

“70,000 people are living in schools and they are very cold,” he continued. “The ones who haven't gone to schools are living in their bathrooms or stairwells because they are afraid of being injured by shattering glass from bombs. There is no water here. We are almost out of diesel for our generator that we have allowed people to come and cook from. When the diesel runs out we will have nothing.”

“The Israeli aggression,” Father Musallam added, “has made these people live like animals and our school is the zoo.”

“There are dead bodies lying on the streets. The clinics are carrying out operations on the floor. Women have no place to give birth. One pregnant woman was shot on her way to a clinic to give birth. They tried to save the baby but it too was dead.”

“Life and death for people in Gaza is the same,” he concluded.

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