Media CenterOne Month After Deadly Conflict Began in the Holy Land, CRS Calls for an Immediate End to Violence

Photo courtesy of Caritas Jerusalem

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Megan Gilbert
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(410) 271-8732

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Nov. 8, 2023 – Catholic Relief Services, the international humanitarian agency of the United States Catholic Church, calls for an immediate end of violence and more life-saving humanitarian access and assistance in Gaza.

It has been one month since violence erupted across the Holy Land, killing an estimated 1,400 people in Israel and 10,000 in Gaza and causing immense, widespread human suffering. In Gaza where CRS operates, relentless attacks have left people without a way of protecting themselves or their family members—not even churches, hospitals and shelters with the U.N. flag are safe havens. An immediate cessation of hostilities is urgent before more innocent civilians are killed. As Pope Francis said, ‘May the attacks and weaponry cease. Please!’

Families in Gaza face inescapable suffering, fear and powerlessness as this war rages around them. More than 1.4 million Gazan civilians have been forced from their homes and are deprived of water, food and medical care as too little aid drips in. More lifesaving aid must get into Gaza as soon as possible, through as many channels as possible, in quantities to reach as many people as possible. Shops have emptied. People are standing in line for dirty water. New mothers lack the hydration and nourishment to feed their newborns. Without immediate safe passage of humanitarian aid, the already alarming humanitarian crisis in Gaza will become a calamity. The psychological toll and collective trauma threaten to shape a generation.

CRS Gazan staff continue to work tirelessly to help those impacted by this violence. The majority of CRS’ nearly 50 Gazan colleagues are displaced from their homes and have already lost loved ones. Despite this, from the beginning of this crisis, they have provided assistance to tens of thousands of people, as well as support to Church shelters as they provide for thousands who have taken refuge in their compounds.

Innocent civilians cannot wait another day for safety and sustenance. The already grim prospects for the people in the region will only worsen should this conflict metastasize. We reiterate Bishop David J. Malloy, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace’s call for the cessation of violence, protection of civilian populations, the release of hostages, and desperately needed humanitarian access and safety. May all parties to work urgently toward these ends and start down a new path toward peace.

CRS continues to grieve for the innocent civilian casualties of violence in Gaza, in Israel and across the Middle East. All human life is sacred. Through the heroic work of our colleagues and teams and partners across the Holy Land, we will continue to fulfill our mission to help those in greatest need in times of war and peace alike.

In the words of Pope Francis, there is only one side to take in this conflict – that of peace. And, in the words of our CRS colleagues within Gaza, "More than wanting for food or hygiene or anything, we just want to end this war, be able to continue with our lives, so we can organize ourselves and take care of our children in a safer place."


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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