News / Middle East

Hundreds of Displaced Palestinians Shelter in Gaza Church

Hundreds of Displaced Muslims Shelter in Gaza Churchi
X
Scott Bobb
August 07, 2014 6:32 PM
Relief agencies are struggling to help nearly one-half million people in Gaza who have been displaced by the month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas-led fighters. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports some have taken refuge in a Christian church in Gaza City.
Scott Bobb

Relief agencies are struggling to help nearly one-half million people in Gaza who have been displaced by the month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas-led fighters.  Some have taken refuge in a Christian church in Gaza City.
 
The Archdiocese of Gaza’s Greek Orthodox Church has become a place of refuge for 800 Muslims who fled their homes during the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
 
Hayat al-Bahtety left her house in al-Shejayia with 23 family members during the first week of fighting.
 
“The rockets were coming down like heavy rain.  We ran out into the street.  We did not know where to go.  We were just running," said al-Bahtety.
 
Mohammed Khalaf has been here with 30 family members for three weeks.
 
“We went to U.N. schools.  We found all the schools were full.  Then we came to the church, and the father of the church welcomed us and opened the church for us," said Khalaf.

  • An Israeli soldier gestures from atop a tank after crossing the border back into Israel. Israel pulled its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip at the start of a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, Aug. 5, 2014. 
  • Palestinians sit on the remains of their destroyed homes after returning to Beit Hanoun, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 5, 2014. 
  • An Israeli soldier from the Nahal Brigade carries his weapon after returning to Israel from Gaza, Aug. 5, 2014. 
  • Palestinians look at destroyed houses after returning to the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, east of Gaza City, Aug. 5, 2014. 
  • Israeli soldiers fire a mortar shell towards the Gaza Strip, near the Israel - Gaza border, Aug. 4, 2014. 
     
  • Mohammed al-Bakri brings the body of his three-year-old son Kamal to the boy's wounded mother, Dua, at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Aug. 5, 2014. 
  • Relatives take the bodies of four Palestinians, who relatives say were killed in a missile strike, from the hospital for burial, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Aug. 4, 2014.
  • Smoke rises over Gaza City after an Israeli strike, minutes before 8 am (0500 GMT), the time agreed for a preliminary 72-hour cease-fire, on Aug. 5, 2014. 


Heads of families registered for aid they know they will need for weeks to come.  In addition to those living here, the church is helping 1,600 others living on the streets outside.
 
They go to the mosque next door only to pray.  They fear that it could be bombed like dozens of others.  Staying in the church does not bother Khalaf.
 
“The Christiajn, the Muslim are almost one religion. We are one people.  There is no difference," he said.
 
Most Gazans feel the same way, says Rania al-Helo, whose Anera group is providing assistance to these people.
 
“This brotherhood, this strong bond between Muslims and the Christians has been [there] throughout the years and throughout the history of Gaza," said al-Helo.
 
This solidarity will be needed in coming months as all Gazans try to recover from the devastation of war.

 

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: t howard from: usa
August 07, 2014 4:03 PM
If is kind of like the Muslim people in America who don't speak about the hate their religion translates into.

The people of GAZA need to quit harboring, hiding and promoting Hamas, quit sending rockets into GAZA, and then the bombing will stop!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid