Holy Land military incursions block Catholic aid delivery
Caritas Jerusalem was prevented from delivering equipment to children in the town of Zababdeh north of Ramallah last week.
On Thursday, the aid agency planned to deliver 1250 school kits to students in their schools and colleges. The action was supposed to be one of the final steps in a health campaign for 5000 Palestinian students, supported by Caritas France and ECHO (European Commission of Humanitarian Aid).
Previous deliveries had been cleared by the Israeli District Coordination Office, but this time the parish priest in Zababdeh informed Caritas that because of heavy shooting and curfew the delivery would be impossible. He said most students had been unable to leave their homes to get to school.
Last Wednesday, Israeli soldiers made an incursion with tanks and jeeps and imposed a curfew.
The Latin Patriarchate School was opened Wednesday morning - for those able reach it. But when shooting started hundreds of children were trapped in their school. Parish priest Fr Abuna Aktham, persuaded the soldiers to let the children go home.
The curfew was lifted on Friday. But whether there is free access or not to the town is still not clear. Tanks and jeeps are still roaming the streets and people are afraid they could attack at any time.
Independent Catholic News
Caritas Australia provides assistance to Caritas Jerusalem (Caritas Australia, April 2002)
9 Apr 2003