Palestinian Catholics express anger over Israeli airstrikes
TEL AVIV, Israel (CNS) – Palestinian Catholics living in the West Bank and Israel expressed anger after Israeli airstrikes in Qana, Lebanon, left 65 civilians dead in the largest attack against Hezbollah militants since the war began mid-July.
Jacob Zakharia, a Palestinian Melkite Catholic living in Jerusalem's Old City, said that Palestinian Christians are most affected by the conflict.
"We are sandwiched between extreme Jews and extreme Muslims," Zakharia said.
Like many, Zakharia expected an Israeli aerial cease-fire following the July 30 Qana attack.
"I heard half an hour ago on the radio that Israel was bombing again," Zakharia said July 31.
Israeli forces carried out aerial attacks in southern Lebanon July 31, hours after the government agreed to a 48-hour halt while investigating its bombing in Qana. But a representative from the Israeli Defense Forces said, "This was not a cease-fire. There was a partial suspension of certain aerial activities."
Meanwhile, Zakharia said Israel doesn't care about its neighbors in the Middle East.
"Israel has very sophisticated bombs and bombardment tactics. They don't care about their neighbors," he said. "They respect only who is powerful."
Father Youssef Saadeh, a Palestinian parish priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Nablus, West Bank, said he believes U.S. President George W. Bush and the American government is supporting Israel and its airstrikes against Hezbollah militants.
"As Arab people, we need justice and rights. This airstrike is a very good example for how Mr. Bush is a bad man, so is his government. I think Mr. Bush told the Israelis to bomb Qana," said Father Saadeh.
"How can we speak about the peace and love of Jesus when the Israeli soldiers send their bombs and kill many children and young men in this city," he said.
The Bush administration says it supports a long-lasting Middle East cease-fire that would address the root of the ongoing conflict, rather than a quick-fix halt to the war.
Franciscan Father Quirico Calella, who lives in the northern Israeli city of Acre, said he is just relieved to see only smoke and not tragedy after a Hezbollah rocket landed near a parishioner's home July 30.
"We hope for us and for Lebanon," Father Calella said.
- - -
Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- Where is President Obama as Egypt's Coptic Christians Die and Churches Burn?
- Israel and Syria at brink of war as both sides exchange fire, threats
- Elements of Syrian opposition feared to be aligned with al-Qaeda
- You'll be surprised to see what Palestinians are smuggling into Gaza
- Use Twitter, go to HELL
- As death and destruction rain down in Syria, refugees flee with lives to Jordan
- Hezbollah can reach Israel with missiles, report says
- Did intervention in Iraq unjustly discriminate against the Christians there?
- With Hezbollah statement, Syrian conflict threatens to spread into multinational conflict
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?