National Catholic Register spoke with Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Matt McGarry about the situation in Gaza, where McGarry is leading CRS’ relief effort for families affected by the summer of violence between Israel and Hamas.
GAZA CITY, Gaza — A ceasefire begins, a ceasefire breaks down, and the Palestinians of the Gaza strip fall one by one, victim to the bloody maw of war waged between its Hamas rulers and Israel.
Amid the nightmarish destruction of Gaza, the Catholic Church is working with fellow Christian churches and aid organizations to provide humanitarian relief, and light a candle of hope for the Palestinian territory’s 1.8 million people ….
Speaking with the Register from Gaza City, Matthew McGarry, Catholic Relief Services’ country representative for Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, gave an account earlier this month of the humanitarian situation facing the war-battered people of Gaza.
What’s the scope of the devastation in Gaza?
It’s quite widespread, but very targeted. I got back into Gaza yesterday and was driving around town in the city center … every block or every second block, there is one house or one floor of an apartment building, or a mosque, or a clinic, or a shop just annihilated. It was an F-16 strike, or multiple strikes, and completely obliterated.
Read the full article on the National Catholic Register, which includes the following interview questions:
- How many people have been affected by the fighting? What are the biggest humanitarian concerns?
- How are CRS’s relief workers holding up? What’s the danger they face?
- What has been the humanitarian impact of Egypt and Israel’s blockade on Gaza?
- Hamas diverted Israeli concrete meant for Gazan civilians to build terror tunnels instead. Are there any proposals about how to rebuild Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, but with international oversight of construction materials?
- What is CRS doing to address people’s immediate needs?
- What key aspects of the Gazan situation should Catholics in the United States know?
- What can we do to help?