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Workers monitor Gaza relief prospects

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptist workers are monitoring the situation in Gaza and looking for opportunities for relief efforts there now that Israel has agreed to open a corridor for humanitarian assistance.

On Jan. 7, Israel announced it would cease hostilities for three hours each day to allow relief supplies to flow through a humanitarian corridor into Gaza. The announcement followed 12 days of intense fighting, first from the air, then on the ground.

“The situation on both sides of the conflict is bad — especially for the people of Gaza,” said Abraham Shepherd, who directs works in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization. “We have been in constant contact with various networks and individuals in the region, trying to coordinate efforts and be on standby for long-term sustainable relief.”

Southern Baptists already have been involved in two humanitarian projects in Gaza, and that should open the way for permission to participate in war-time relief, Shepherd said.

Shepherd asked Southern Baptists and other Christians to pray for people in the area who are suffering and for humanitarian efforts.

“Please pray for wisdom, as we meet and discuss coordination of efforts,” Shepherd said. “Please pray for readiness in assessing the various options when it comes to our point of entry and the relative security situation.”
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly. Baptist Global Response is on the Web at http://gobgr.org.

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