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Jerusalem archbishop wants weekend Mass collections to go to Gaza

The tiny Gaza Catholic community consists of 133 people including a recently born baby

Jerusalem archbishop wants weekend Mass collections to go to Gaza

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem. (Photo: Facebook)

Published: May 26, 2021 05:07 AM GMT

Updated: May 26, 2021 05:09 AM GMT

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, requested that the May 30 Mass collections from all parishes in the diocese be donated in their entirety to Gaza's Holy Family Parish as a sign of solidarity following airstrikes from Israel.

"In the aftermath of the tension and conflict we have recently experienced, let us turn our hearts and gaze to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in Gaza and in places severely affected by the recent exchange of rocket firing for 11 days," Archbishop Pizzaballa said in his May 25 statement.

The tiny Gaza Catholic community consists of 133 people -- including a recently born baby. There are just under 1,100 Christians among the 2 million Muslim Palestinians in Gaza.

Archbishop Pizzaballa noted that following the "deadly clashes and bombings" the situation in Gaza had worsened, as the residents are also struggling with COVID-19, which continues to spread in the area.

"I ask you to share some of your resources to alleviate the sufferings of our Christian faithful in Gaza," he said.

On May 21, a cease-fire went into effect, ending the fourth major round of violence between the two in 10 years. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children. It does not differentiate between civilians and gunmen deaths. Hamas is considered a terror group by the United States and Israel.

Twelve Israeli civilians -- including two children -- and one soldier were killed in the worse round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in six years.

Donations to the Gaza parish can be made by checks to the "Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem" or through bank transfers at either:

Arab Bank P.L.C. Bethlehem Branch
Account No.: 729589/570
Currency: NIS
IBAN No: PS94 ARAB 0000 0000 9050 7295 8957 0
Swift Code: ARABPS22050
Latin Patriarchate -- Jerusalem

Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd. -- Salah Eddin Branch
Account No.: 11804
Currency: NIS
IBAN No.: IL060176 3800 0005 6465 620
Latin Patriarchate -- Jerusalem

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