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Israel protests Pope’s language on Gaza, wants ‘unequivocal’ condemnation of Hamas

ROME – Israel’s top diplomat has demanded that the Vatican issue a “clear and unequivocal” condemnation of the terrorist attacks launched by Hamas, after remarks from Pope Francis Sunday in which he called for “respect for humanitarian law” and the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow aid to reach the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen made a phone call to British Archbishop Paul Gallagher Sunday evening to protest the language used by Pope Francis in his noontime Angelus address.

“It is unacceptable that you put out a statement expressing worry primarily for Gazan civilians while Israel is burying 1,300 who were murdered,” Cohen told Gallagher, according to a statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

According to the statement, Cohen also told Gallagher that Israel “expects the Vatican to come out with a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the murderous terrorist actions of Hamas terrorists who harmed women, children and the elderly for the sole fact that they are Jews and Israelis.”

“There’s no room for unfounded comparisons,” Cohen said. “Hamas, a terrorist organization worse than ISIS, invaded Israel with the intention of harming innocent civilians, while Israel is a democracy that’s trying to defend its citizens from Hamas.”

The protest came after Francis’s appeal at the end of his regular Angelus address, in which the pope once again expressed concern for the bloodshed.

“I continue to follow what’s happening in Israel and Palestine with great sorrow,” Francis said. “I think again of so many, in particular children and the elderly. I renew my appeal for the liberation of the hostages, and I ask strongly that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians not be victims of the conflict.”

2023-10-17T10:29:43+00:00 October 17th, 2023|Categories: News|