Fr. Gabriel Romanelli is the pastor of Holy Family parish, the only Catholic parish in the Gaza Strip. The priest told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, “the situation in the Gaza Strip is very bad. Day and night we’re bombarded. The bombing usually only takes place at night and during the day life is more or less normal. But these days, both day and night, there is bombing, rockets from the strip and the Israeli response, with planes and tanks."
“Currently there is constant bombing. Even when it stops, the silence is strange and makes you feel like you’re in the eye of the hurricane,” he said.
The priest noted that since November 2019 there has been no "talk of war" in the area and even "material progress, there were more businesses and the housing was better." However, after the start of the attacks, the situation is “very uncertain.”
“There is no neighborhood or city that hasn’t been hit, some very hard. And the Israeli authorities state that as long as the aggression continues they will continue to bomb and the Palestinians also say that as long as the (Israeli) advance doesn’t let up, they will continue to respond,” the priest explained.
“Our parish is a very small but beautiful and strong community. The Greek Orthodox also come. There are 133 of us Catholics, including 13 religious from the Incarnate Word community. We fan out to make contact with the families, so both Catholics and Orthodox, as well as poor Muslim families, feel the spiritual and material closeness of the parish to them,” Fr. Romanelli told ACI Prensa.
The Incarnate Word priest said the difficulties faced by the people in the Gaza Strip for decades should not be forgotten, because they “have suffered from an embargo of all kinds of things for years, which is why it’s called the largest open-air prison in the world."