'It Is Terrorism': Pope Condemns Israel Assassinating Christian Mother And Daughter in Gaza Church

Chris Menahan
Dec. 17, 2023

Pope Francis on Sunday condemned Israel for assassinating a Christian mother and daughter with a sniper rifle while they were taking refuge at a Catholic church in Gaza.

From The Palestine Chronicle, " 'It is Terrorism' -- Pope Francis Condemns Attacks on Civilians in Gaza":
Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for an end to the war ravaging the Holy Land, praying especially for Christians sheltered in the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza.

At the Angelus prayer, the Pope said he continues to receive troubling news from Gaza, where "unarmed civilians are the targets of bombings and gunfire."

Pope Francis condemned an attack on the compound of the Catholic parish, "where there are no terrorists, but families, children, people who are sick and have 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 say, 'This is terrorism. This is war.' Yes, it is war. It is terrorism," he said. "That is why the Scripture affirms that 'God stops wars... breaks the bow, splinters the spear' (Psalm 46:10). Let us pray to the Lord for peace."

Pope Francis also recalled people in various parts of the world who are suffering due to war.

"May the approach of Christmas strengthen the commitment to open paths of peace."
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said on Saturday that the pair were murdered in cold blood.

"A sniper of the IDF murdered two Christian women inside the Holy Family parish in Gaza, where the majority of Christian families have taken refuge since the start of the war," the patriarchate said in a statement shared on X.

"No warning was given, no notification was provided. They were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the parish, where there are no belligerents," the patriarchate added.

The assassination came just one day after Israeli soldiers killed three Israeli hostages who were shirtless, shouting "help" in Hebrew and waving a white flag.

The IDF soldiers mistook them for unarmed Palestinians and shouted "terrorists!" before unloading their weapons on them.

The Israeli government made killing civilians a central part of their war by invoking an ancient biblical commandment to "destroy Amalek."

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