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“It’s Terrorism”: Pope Francis Denounces Killing of Two Christian Girls in Gaza

In an deal with on his 87th birthday, Pope Francis denounced as “terrorism” the Israeli Protection Forces killing of two “unarmed civilians” who had been sheltering in a Catholic church in Gaza.

“I proceed to obtain very grave and painful information from Gaza,” Francis mentioned. “Unarmed civilians are the objects of bombings and shootings. And this occurred even contained in the Holy Household parish complicated, the place there are not any terrorists, however households, kids, people who find themselves sick or disabled, nuns.”

A press release from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which oversees Catholic Church buildings throughout Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Gaza, and the West Financial institution, reported Saturday that an IDF sniper “murdered two Christian girls contained in the Holy Household Parish in Gaza, the place nearly all of Christian households has taken refuge because the begin of the warfare.”

The Pope mentioned the victims of the IDF assault had been Nahida Khalil Anton and her daughter Samar Kamal Anton, who had been killed whereas they had been going to the toilet.

“Some are saying, ‘That is terrorism and warfare,’” the Pope mentioned. “Sure, it’s warfare. It’s terrorism.”

The Latin Patriarchate assertion mentioned the Israeli army gave no warning earlier than the assault, and that the 2 “had been shot in chilly blood contained in the premises of the Parish, the place there are not any belligerents.”

Former Michigan Consultant Justin Amash, who was the primary Palestinian-American to serve in Congress and whose family had been killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in October, responded to the information in a social media publish on X, previously Twitter.

“For Christians in Gaza—whose relations have been killed or maimed, whose houses and church buildings have been destroyed or badly broken, and who are suffering by means of sleepless nights of bombings—this Christmas will likely be one in all nice unhappiness and mourning,” Amash wrote. “Please pray for peace and reprieve from the IDF siege that’s devastating this historic group.”

In his deal with, the Pope additionally famous that earlier Saturday, an IDF tank struck the Convent of the Sisters of Mom Theresa in Gaza. The assertion from the Latin Patriarchate mentioned the assault destroyed the generator and gas assets for the constructing, which at the moment homes over 54 disabled individuals.

The information comes only a day after IDF troopers killed three hostages who had been waving a white flag. The Israeli army has mentioned the unintentional killings violated its guidelines of engagement and is reviewing the actions of its troopers.

As of Thursday, the Gaza Well being Ministry reported that 18,787 individuals—together with 7,729 kids and 5,153 girls—had been killed by Israel in Gaza since October 7.

“Allow us to pray for our brothers and sisters who’re affected by the warfare in Ukraine, in Palestine, in Israel, and within the different zones of battle,” Francis mentioned in his deal with. “Might the drawing shut of Christmas reinforce the dedication to open the paths to peace.”