Oliver Maksan, ACN International
Adapted Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
Montreal, Monday, July 28th, 2014 – The Catholic Church in Jordan had taken in Muslim and Christian refugees from Gaza. Father Khalil Jaar from Amman informed the international Catholic pastoral charity “Aid to the Church in Need” (ACN) of this on Friday. “On Sunday we took in 87 people from Gaza in Amman, including 39 children. Thanks to the support of the United Nations they were able to enter Israel from Gaza at the Erez border crossing. The Spanish consul in Jerusalem then brought them to the Jordanian border,” said this priest of the Latin Patriarchate.
“The injured are now receiving medical treatment. We have housed the rest in boarding houses,” Jaar continued. “We would like to take in more people from Gaza but all accommodation is fully booked in Amman because of the festival of Ramadan. And so we have to wait a little.” Jaar expects about 32 additional people.
“The children have seen bombing victims”
“The children are particularly badly traumatized. They have experienced terrible things in Gaza. We are paying special attention to them; people from the parish play with them to provide them with some diversion. They are completely traumatized by the bombing. Even if you are not directly affected, you’re bound to feel the impact of the bombs intensely in such as small area as Gaza,” Jaar said. “Many of the children report that their houses or those of their neighbours were destroyed. Many saw bombing victims in the rubble. Many of the little ones are afraid of staying in enclosed spaces because they think a bomb could hit them there.”
The United Nations claims that in the Gaza conflict more than 700 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids, including at least 160 children. Father Jaar is already supporting about 120 Syrian and 320 Iraqi refugee families in his parish. ACN is helping him with his work.