Caritas Warns of Calamity in Palestine Territories

JERUSALEM, JAN. 22, 2003 ( Caritas-Jerusalem warned that the Palestinian civilian population is facing a humanitarian emergency, more than two years into the intifada.

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It also appealed for help from the international community and Churches worldwide, so that Israelis and Palestinians will attain peace.

The appeal was made at the recent meeting of European and North American bishops, held here last week.

Claudette Habesh, secretary-general of Caritas-Jerusalem, described the humanitarian emergency in the area.

«Since September 2000, that is, since the second intifada began, 1,918 Palestinians have died, 19% of whom were under 17 years of age,» she said. «Of the 41,000 wounded, 2,500 are affected by permanent disabilities.»

In addition, 720 homes have been destroyed, and 11,553 are damaged.

The situation is aggravated by the «failure of the United Nations resolutions regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Israeli settlement policy, and the inability of the Palestinian Authority to respond to the needs of the Palestinian civilian society,» Habesh emphasized.

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