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“It is war. It is terrorism,” Pope Francis condemns attacks on civilians in Gaza

Pope Francis voiced grave concerns over Gaza’s turmoil, renewing his suggestion of Israel’s use of “terrorism” tactics.

He condemned an Israeli attack on Gaza’s Holy Family Catholic Parish, causing two deaths and demolishing a Missionaries of Charity convent.

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VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis recently expressed profound concern about the escalating events in Gaza, suggesting that Israel might be employing “terrorism” tactics in the conflict, following the reported deaths of two Christian women allegedly killed by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) “sniper”.

At his weekly blessing on Sunday (17 Dec), Pope Francis urgently called for an immediate halt to the devastating conflict in the Holy Land, offering heartfelt prayers for Christians seeking refuge within the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza.

According to a statement issued by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem on Saturday, two women were allegedly shot and killed by an IDF “sniper” while en route to a convent of nuns located within the compound of the Holy Family Parish.

The statement also mentioned that seven others were injured while attempting to protect fellow individuals from harm.

Expressing his ongoing distress, Pope Francis conveyed,  “I continue to receive very grave and painful news from Gaza. Unarmed civilians are the target of bombings and gunfire.”

Asserting the innocence of the victims, Pope Francis condemned the attack on the Catholic parish compound, emphasizing that it housed not militants but families, children, people with disabilities, and nuns.

“A mother, Mrs Nahida Khalil Anton, and her daughter, Samar Kamal Anton, were killed, and others were wounded by the shooters while they were going to the bathroom,” said the Pope.

“Some would say ‘It is war. It is terrorism.’ Yes, it is war. It is terrorism,” he said.

Pope Francis also recalled people in various parts of the world suffering from war.

“Let us not forget our brothers and sisters suffering from war, in Ukraine, in Palestine and Israel, and in other conflict zones,” he said.

“May the approach of Christmas strengthen the commitment to open paths of peace.”

IDF disputes allegations of convent attack

On Saturday, Israeli forces conducted intense bombardment in the vicinity of Gaza’s sole Catholic parish.

As per the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s account, an IDF tank allegedly launched a missile that hit the Convent of the Missionaries of Charity, causing significant damage to the building’s generator and triggering a large fire that affected the structure.

Reportedly, two additional rockets struck the convent, rendering it uninhabitable for the 54 individuals with disabilities cared for by the Sisters of Mother Teresa.

“The Convent is home to over 54 disabled persons and is part of the church compound, which was signalled as a place of worship since the beginning of the war,” said the Patriarchate.

Contrary to these allegations, the IDF rejected the claims in a statement issued on Sunday.

Emphasizing that the IDF “does not target civilians, regardless of their religion,” the military informed AFP that church representatives had contacted them regarding an incident at the Holy Family Parish on Saturday.

However, they asserted that “no reports of an impact on the church or any injuries or fatalities among civilians were raised.”

“The IDF takes claims regarding harm to sensitive sites with the utmost seriousness — especially churches — considering that Christian communities are a minority group in the Middle East.”

Pope Francis labels Gaza events ‘terrorism’ for second time in a month

Pope Francis’s recent remarks on Sunday marked the second instance in less than a month where he used the term “terrorism” while discussing the events occurring in Gaza.

On 22 November, following separate meetings with Israeli relatives of hostages held by Hamas and with Palestinians having family ties in Gaza, Pope Francis remarked, “This is the aftermath of warfare. But what we’re witnessing here surpasses conventional conflict. This isn’t just warfare; it is terrorism.”

Later that same day, a contentious dispute arose regarding whether he used the term “genocide” to characterize the events in Gaza. Palestinians present at the meeting claimed he did, whereas the Vatican refuted these claims, stating he did not use that term.

Jewish groups criticized the pope for his remarks about “terrorism” made the previous month.

As Israel intensified its bombardment of Gaza overnight and into Sunday, Palestinian sources reported at least 40 casualties.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the escalated military actions, arguing that intense military pressure on Hamas was crucial for securing the release of hostages.

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The Pope is correct: Terrorisms

Hamas terrorists do not need a reason from others. Just sent the 4500 missiles to Israel.

Do we need to give Hamas a reason for them to be terrorists?

Later play victim card.

Now you can see so many abduls all over the world crying to stop war. Did they condemn terrorism? hmm…..

All I can hear is ” Israel are terrorists? really?

UN Gutere should step down.

Of course its terrorism

Sending 4500 missiles on 7 October to Israel is totally unacceptable

Netanyahu says they are all radicalized.

Nethanyahu will say he was killing Hamas. The US and Britain will support him .

The Loong group dun come and overlord my family while the Yang group aiming to steal the Japanese and two children. All for your Empire wayang cult!!!!

Actually what the pope has said is nothing new, it is just the status quo per this tragic situation: 1) Unprovoked, unannounced, sudden, cowardly, barbaric attack on Israeli/international innocent civilians on 7-Oct by Hamas are all the hallmarks to be termed ” terrorism“. The international bodies large recognized this, only Hamas does NOT say it was terrorism. 2) The massive, overwhelming, rather disproportional response by Israel, where many, many innocent civilians (plus the not-so-innocent supporters) are caught in-between, is War. The Israelis have already said and warned that it is such. 3) Both sides are killing for the sake of… Read more »

2 leaders fighting like spoilt kids…but their poor citizens suffering so acutely.
The 2 leaders should just face each other to a duel themselves.. why shd innocent soldiers and civilians take the brunt of their hatred for each other.

thanks, cathies…

Yes it is War and Terrorism created by Self Serving Empires. They have no Reporting Officials to remove them from spinning lies and creating destruction and they will continue to do that. No?!?

Who will stop them when they go wayward?! Dun tell me citizens Hor when they used their Camera to render you Govt Stars, Big Stars or their Porn/Pawn Stars … The mindset of Organized Crime.

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