The Israeli Air Force reports that it has attacked Gaza tonight, targetting what it said was a group of Palestinians launching rockets toward Israel. The IAF said that one person was killed, and four injured. There have been Israeli reports of sporadic firing from Gaza in recent weeks.
Earlier today, Gaza’s former parish priest, Father Manuel Musallam, told me in an interview in his home in the West Bank town of Bir Zeit today, outside Ramallah, that he fears a renewed Israeli attack on Gaza. Father Musallam spent 14 years serving the Catholic Church in Gaza, and endured the unprecedented Israeli military attack last winter before being pulled out, by Church authorites, into what appears to have been a forced retirement last May, the day before the Pope arrived in the Holy Land. “I had written to the Pope to come to Gaza, to say NO to the suffering of Gaza, to the deaths and the injuries and the fear and the hunger and the thirst of the people of Gaza”.
Father Musallam expressed indignation that in a report on the important events of the year 2009, the Church (here, apparently, headed by Patriarch Fouad Twal) said that the visit of the Pope was the most important event. “This was a big mistake”, said Father Musallem. “The Church neglected to say that the Church of Palestine suffered the war on Gaza — I was there, and I say that that was the most important fact of 2009”.