Missionaries of Charity say they’ll stay in Gaza with women, children

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Despite the bombings and Israeli ground-force incursion into the Gaza Strip, the six Missionaries of Charity working in Gaza City say life has some normalcy and they plan to remain. But for other Gazans, life has changed dramatically since Israeli airstrikes began Dec. 27 in an effort to stop Palestinian militants from launching rockets into Israel’s southern region. Since then, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed. Israel also launched a ground invasion Jan. 3. The six sisters — from India, Malta, the Philippines, Rwanda and Slovakia — continue to bathe, feed and care for 10 incapacitated elderly women and 10 severely mentally and physically disabled children as well as they can, Sister Thertsen Devasia told Catholic News Service in a Jan. 5 phone interview. “We are OK. The bombings are not so near,” she said. Their home is located in the center of the city just behind Holy Family Catholic Church. “By the grace of God we are safe and we will stay here. If something happens to our people we will be with them,” said Sister Thertsen.

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