In an escalation of violence in Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Christians in the area of the Catholic parish of the Holy Family in the city of Gaza. The recent and devastating bombing the night before in the vicinity of the parish left dozens dead, and in the last hours, it is reported that Christians are being targeted by Israeli snipers.
According to news confirmed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, at least two deaths have been recorded, presumably a mother and her daughter. The second was killed while trying to assist her elderly mother hit by snipers. In addition, there are five wounded, one of them in critical condition.
The Israelis justify the attack by claiming the presence of a missile launcher in the parish. Despite the intervention of the patriarchate, the operation did not stop. Israeli forces have positioned themselves near the Catholic complex and are reportedly firing at civilians taking refuge in the building.
Fragmentary reports speak of “moments of panic” and incredible fear, especially among “children and the elderly.” Around 600 refugees have sought shelter in the complex for at least two months. “Everyone is on the ground for fear of being hit,” are some of the few words that have managed to transcend the walls of the building.
During the night, a tank shot injured a woman in the legs, and two other people were slightly injured. The explosion also damaged the electrical generator in the house of the Sisters of Mother Teresa, who, despite the difficulties, continue their work with around fifty disabled children, now evacuated due to damage to the building.
Palestinian media also report intense Israeli bombings throughout the Strip, with a toll of 14 victims, adding to the 18,800 deaths reported by Hamas since October 7. The situation in the region remains critical and constantly evolving.