Palestinian Hamas fired seven rockets at Jerusalem Monday afternoon. Israel almost immediately responded to the attack, and at least nine were killed in Gaza.
Among them were the five children of a local employee helping the Norwegian Church.
Read also: Israel warns of escalation
I lost five children.
– It happened around 06. She was at home, and her five children were playing in front of the house. Then came the attack and all the children were killed. This is what Mads Freelander says, he is the Country Director for the Norwegian Church Aid and the Danish People’s Church in Palestine and Israel. The two organizations are working together in the region.
He says that the organizations have three local employees in Gaza and that there are 12 in Jerusalem.
We are very shocked and sad about it. We are trying to provide all the support we can to our colleagues in Gaza.
Finland says the parties should be pressured by the international authorities to work towards a just solution to the conflict.
When international players don’t, it never stops.
background: This is the reason for the problems in Jerusalem
Nobody thinks of us
Mervat Al-Masry lost two of his brothers in Monday’s attack.
We used to go to buy clothes after Lent. I was very happy. I called them and said, “Come on, we have to get dressed.” I don’t know what happened. I lost two of my siblings. One of them was 10 years old and the other one and a half years old. What did they do to die? They put a bomb on top of them. The bombs came one after the other as soon as they left the house. This is what Mervat says. She continues:
– Nobody thinks about us. Everyone is shouting that they want Jerusalem, but no one is looking at us. What did the kids do? One is 10 years old, the other is 2 years old. What did they do ?! The Arab world must do something. Where is the world no one has a conscience, so Mervat cries.
Norwegian Church Aid in deep mourning
– I was in a state of despair as we helped the Norwegian Church feel deep sadness today for our colleague in Gaza after they gathered outside their home last night and were hit by an attack. Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General for Norwegian Church Aid, told NRK.
– This region is used to uneasiness, but now there is a sharp escalation in violence on both sides. We see how this madness affects innocent civilians and children. It defines our work, but we’ve been there for the long haul, because we want to help civilians, including health, water, and protection from abuse.
Høybråten says the organization’s work will continue.
But of course, we find justifications in the framework. This is a very dangerous situation. Our employees are in despair, and we are supporting them from our offices in Gaza and Jerusalem in the best possible way. But it goes without saying that this is a great tragedy that has befallen us.
Høybråten says the situation between the two is escalating sharply. On Tuesday, two women were killed in an attack in Jerusalem, and several others were wounded.
If this madness does not stop, many lives will be lost, as we saw in the past twenty-four hours. We call on the parties to stop the fighting, calm the situation, and find a peaceful way forward.
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