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For Immediate Release

A convoy of hope to Nablus


Palestine map with the location of Nablus

(Jerusalem – July 27, 2006) – On Wednesday July 26, Caritas Jerusalem took part in a convoy of humanitarian food aid and direct financial assistance to the city and the people of Nablus in the central West Bank. The convoy has been organized in coordination with the Governor of Nablus, the Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Social Affairs, Caritas Jerusalem and with religious leaders in Jerusalem. The solidarity visit to Nablus included His Beatitude Msgr. Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the President of Caritas Jerusalem, the Rt. Reverend Bishop Munib Younan, the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Armenian Orthodox Bishop Aris Shirvanian and Bishop Riah Abu Al Assal, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The region of Nablus suffered a very serious incursion in the middle of last week. It was reported that "at least three Palestinians were killed Wednesday (July 19) in exchanges of fire after an IDF paratrooper unit surrounded a compound [the Nablus regional government building] in Nablus. IDF forces killed a fourth Palestinian later Wednesday, during clashes with stone-throwers in Nablus.  …  By early Wednesday afternoon, dozens of Palestinians, including security officers, had exited the compound in surrender. (Haaretz newspaper, July 20 2006 - http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/740311.html)." Of these people who surrender, 15 people were arrested. In addition, following the Nablus regional government building collapse, one man managed to escape from the rubble after being trapped for four days in the collapsed building.

This incursion into Nablus is only the latest in the ongoing degradation of this city. The region of Nablus is now surrounded and even further cut off from the rest of the West Bank. Commerce has slowed to a virtual halt. The Palestinian National Authority is now entering its fifth month with no support for the wages of its workers and the West Bank has been under an ongoing closure since the hostilities began in the North of Israel almost two weeks ago.




A Nablus municipal employee collects papers from the ruins of the Nablus governmental complex destroyed last week by an incursion of the Israeli army into Nablus (Photo: Al Quds Newspaper)

                In coordination with the Governor of Nablus, the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs and Caritas Jerusalem, some 500 very vulnerable families were identified as in urgent need of food aid. The criteria for receiving the assistance were: (1) families where the main breadwinner is unemployed; (2) Palestinian National Authority employees who have not been paid going on five months; (3) Those who became unemployed due to the ongoing problems here in Palestine. Therefore, Caritas Jerusalem has organized the distribution of some 500 parcels of direct assistance to these vulnerable families. These humanitarian aid packets were delivered by convoy yesterday accompanied by the religious leaders. This total intervention was budgeted at about $35,000 USD. In addition to this assistance, the local government in Nablus has agreed to support 200 more families with a similar aid package.

                The aid convoy was accompanied by Palestinian police escort and leading religious leaders in Nablus from the Christian, Muslim and Samaritan communities greeted the convoy and delegation and expressed their thanks to all involved for this expression of solidarity to the people of Nablus.

                In addition, as President of Caritas Jerusalem, His Beatitude Msgr. Michel Sabbah delivered a check to the St. Luke's Hospital in Nablus to help them purchase needed medicines which are currently in short supply.

                This assistance has been made possible due to the support of numerous Caritas partner organizations who have joined Caritas Jerusalem's Special Operations Appeal (SOA) "Emergency Support for Palestine." So far Caritas partners from Australia, Belgium Canada, England, Japan, Spain, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and France as well as other organizations such as Aid to the Church in Need from Germany and many individual donors have supported this appeal. This appeal was issued in May for almost 1.5 million USD. Since the initial release of the appeal, the situation in the Holy Land has deteriorated dramatically since the end of June. Caritas Jerusalem is requesting interested parties who wish to support this appeal to contact us. Contributions can be directed to the following contact points:



Individuals can send donations by check drawn on their own banks to:


Caritas Jerusalem

Department - SOA 9-2006

P O Box 20894

Jerusalem 97200 Israel


In the USA, tax deductible contributions can be sent to:


Caritas Jerusalem – SOA 9/2006


1011 First Avenue

New York NY 10022 4195



Online donations can be accepted at www.cnewa.org

Please designate all contributions to Caritas Jerusalem SOA 9/2006


For Bank Transfers:


Bank Name:  Arab Bank

Swift Code:  ARABPS22110

Account #:  457793/0/590 ----EURO

Account #:  457793/0/510 ----US $

Credit Account:  Caritas Jerusalem

Branch No.:  9110

At Arab Bank in Al-Ram

P.O. Box 2445, Al-Ram, Jerusalem



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