Letter of a Pastor of a Catholic Community in Palestine during the Israeli-Hamas War

Fr. Issa Hijazeen, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima of Beit Sahour in Palestine writes to their sister parish in Holliston, Massachusetts, St. Mary’s Church. For peace in the Holy Land.  For the safe return of hostages; the protection of civilians; and for an end to all violence in Israel and Palestine.   For respect and protection of every human life without discrimination.  For peace – again we pray for peace.

Dear Father Mark,  Dear Brothers and Sisters in Saint Mary’s Parish,

The situation in Gaza is very bad.  Many people were killed by the Israeli army, among them 1661 children.  Many buildings were destroyed, including houses, hospitals, and church buildings.

The last attack destroyed an ancient building that belonged to the Greek orthodox church.  In this building, 350 Christian refugees sheltering there were buried in rubble.  As of now, 28 persons have been saved, and 20 persons found killed (6 of them children). The rest are still lost under the rubble.

We really don’t know when it will finish. We hear many Rumors about how the war will continue or end.  But it seems to us that the war will continue for several weeks.

Our people in the Holy Land need your prayers because real peace comes from God, not from this world.  Peace will be possible when every people have their rights. Otherwise, things will remain the same from one war to another.  So, we pray for Love, Peace, fraternity, and Justice.

People here, from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, are afraid.  Many of them want the war to end.  Many of them want Peace, and it is possible.  They can live together.  War is not the solution!  The solution begins first when the war stops; when every prisoner and hostage from both sides will be returned safely to his family; and when every person gets their legitimate rights.

I end here with words from the book of Psalms 2,10:  “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth”.

Please pray for us.   Fr. Issa Hijazeen

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