| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Killing people inside Gaza churches at odds with war on Hamas, Italy tells Israel

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani condemned Israeli forces on Monday, alleging that they had shot and killed individuals within a Christian compound in the Gaza Strip. He expressed concern that such actions would not contribute positively to the ongoing conflict.
“An (Israeli) sniper shot two women inside a church. This has nothing to do with the fight against Hamas because the terrorists are certainly not hiding in Christian churches,” Tajani said, offering rare censure of Israel from Italy.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Catholic authority in the Holy Land, said at the weekend the two women, named as Nahida Khalil Anton and her daughter Samar, were shot dead in the compound of the Holy Family Parish in Gaza.
The Patriarchate statement said seven other people were shot and wounded as they tried to protect others.

Pope Francis on Sunday deplored the reported attack and suggested Israel was using “terrorism” tactics in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian group Hamas.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Sunday the incident was still under review.

Gaza’s 2.3 million population comprises an estimated 1,000 Christians.

Italy has offered Israel vocal support since the October 7 attack on Israeli communities by Hamas fighters, but like many Western countries, it has grown alarmed by the soaring death toll during Israel’s prolonged aerial and ground war in Gaza.

“(We) strongly condemned Hamas’ attack against unarmed civilians … but we also want the reaction of Israel … to be proportionate and spare the civilian population,” Tajani told an annual meeting of Italy’s ambassadors.



  • alarabiya