Monday, December 31, 2007
Muslims and Christians of Gaza Strip make an appeal to the Pope
Urgent appeal to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
"From the land of prophets, peace and blessings and from the besieged Gaza we send you our heartfelt greetings as well as toward all Christians around the globe. On behalf of the besieged, poor and simple people of the Gaza Strip, we pass on our greetings on the occasion of Christmas. We aspire from our only God to bring security and peace to all nations in this world.
To His Holiness the Pope,
We address His Holiness in honour of your vital religious roles, effective actions and echoing sermons. We address and urge His Holiness on behalf of Palestinians, especially the besieged Gazans who live under a devilish siege imposed by Israelis, to intervene without delay. Israeli occupation has imposed comprehensive siege in which all crossing points and terminals are closed, preventing people from moving in and outside the Gaza Strip.
Serious ramifications have resulted from this illegal siege and flagrant violations of human rights laws have been committed. People are not allowed to obtain medicine or travel abroad for treatment! Basic medical devices are out of order now and Israelis have forbidden the entry of spare parts into Gaza, causing more health complications for patients. So far, 51 patients have died due to Israeli closure and medications shortage. Additionally, more than 1,500 are about to encounter imminent death for the same reason and other patients are exposed to further deterioration of their health, including people who suffer from chronic illness, infants and the elderly.
In addition to that, projects of infrastructure, building and development have been stopped! All raw materials needed in these projects are prevented from entering the Gaza Strip. Moreover, more than 3,900 factories and industrial enterprises have shut down, which resulted in leaving 140,000 unemployed! Poverty rates have reached incredible levels pushing more people under the poverty line and towards misery and bringing about a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Thus, we appeal to His Holiness to hear and eases off our pains, sufferings and ordeals caused by occupation. We appeal to you to intervene by your sermons that touch hearts and consciences and call for ending this siege. This siege is an obvious violation against human rights laws, Geneva conventions and all international human charters.
We aspire in God and You, a just word of wisdom and support for our just Palestinian cause.
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas.
With all respect,
Pastor of Latin sect in the Gaza Strip,
Manuel Musalam &
Popular Committee Against Siege Chairman,
Independent Parliamentarian in Gaza Strip,
Jamal N. El Khoudary"