A mother and daughter were shot and killed in Gaza's only Catholic church over the weekend. This shows how much pressure Christians are under in the area, as fears grow that the war could wipe out their small population.
A top of a church in Gaza
A mother and daughter were shot and killed in a church compound in Gaza City, reportedly by an Israeli military sniper. The top Catholic priest in England called it a "cold-blooded killing."The archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said that the shooting "did nothing to further Israel's right to defend itself."
The patriarchate blamed an IDF shooter for killing Nahida Anton and her daughter Samar Anton."They were shot in cold blood,"they said. It said that at least seven people were shot and hurt while trying to"protect othersinside the church compound."One of them was killed as she tried to take the other person to safety.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says the two women were killed inside the Holy Family church in Gaza City on Saturday. Since the war began, most of Gaza's Christian families have been hiding in the complex.
Trying to get in touch with the Holy Family Church and its people did not work right away. One member said that he was Nahida Anton's son, but he didn't say anything else about his mother and sister's deaths.
Israel has said that it is not responsible for what happened. The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “according to an IDF investigation, this claim is not true.”It said that there was no fighting in that area on Saturday. And he said, "The IDF has proven once again that it is loyal to truth and transparency."There was fighting near a different church.
Moran, a UK MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said that 300 people, including children, were inside the Holy Family Parish church in Gaza City while Israel continued to bomb the area for the tenth week in a row. Moran told Isa Soares of CNN:
The situation has massively deteriorated within the last week. There are snipers shooting at people. What is happening is beyond terrifying.- Layla Moran
These are Christians seeking sanctuary the week before Christmas, having been there for more than 60 days… who have been told by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that they need to evacuate (and) it’s unclear why or where - there are no churches outside Gaza City.- Layla Moran
Israeli forces have been attacking Gaza since Hamas's terror attack on October 7. In the weeks since then, many of the enclave's 1,000-strong ancient Christian community have sought refuge in the St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church and the nearby Catholic Holy Family Church.
According to the Palestinian healthauthorities in Gaza, more than 18,700 people have been killed so far in the conflict. The United Nations believes that about 90% of the population, or 2.2 million people, have been forced to leave their homes.
Israeli officials say that dozens of the hostages who were taken by Hamas on October 7 are still being held captive. The attack killed about 1,200 people in Israel. Israel has said it will keep attacking until they are returned and Hamas is defeated.
At least 20 Palestinian Christians have been killed in the war. Michael Azar, an associate professor of theology and religious studies at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said he agreed with Raheb that the situation was very sad.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says that an Israeli soldier shot and killed two Christian women inside a Catholic church in Gaza City. The women were a mother and her daughter.
A British politician named Layla Moran's family is one of many people who are stuck in a church in Gaza City. She says that 300 people, some of them kids, are inside the Holy Family Parish church. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says that an Israeli military shooter shot and killed two women in the church. The IDF seems to say it is not responsible for the killings because it only goes after terrorists.