Airstrikes in Gaza have severely damaged over 50 Christian homes and a Catholic school, including the Rosary Sisters School, according to charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
The school, which served 1,250 students from both Christian and Muslim backgrounds, it is still standing but there are fears that it may collapse at any moment.
Sister Nabila Saleh, the school's principal, told CAN she was “heartbroken” to see the playground with a dent on the floor and nearby buildings reduced to rubble. “Everything is ruined,” she said.
Fortunately, the school had been evacuated at the conflict's onset, and there were no reported casualties in the airstrike. However, ACN regretted that an approved aid project for the school can no longer proceed due to the damage.
The nuns have chosen not to evacuate so they can continue helping those in need, including many Christians taking refuge at Holy Family Church and the Orthodox Church of St Porphyrius, even though supplies are running low.
They are currently caring for more than 750 displaced Christians, including 100 children and 70 people with special needs.
A source, kept anonymous for security reasons, said: “The fighting is coming closer and closer. But without a humanitarian truce there can be no evacuation because people are very scared; they are hearing about bombing in other areas in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, famine and lack of water and shelter are terrible in these other areas as well”.
According to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, 19 places of worship, including mosques and churches, were attacked in Gaza during the initial three weeks of the conflict.