Catholic Church Authorities In The Holy Land Accuse IDF Of Killing Two Women, Targeting Convent

(Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem accused the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) of killing two Christian women Saturday inside a church compound within Gaza, according to a press release.

The press release from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, described as a “particular” jurisdiction of the Catholic Church overseeing Cyprus, Jordan, Israel and Palestine, stated that the majority of Christian families had taken refuge in the Holy Family Parish compound in Gaza since the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict.  (RELATED: US Warship Downs Suicide ‘Drone Wave’ Launched From Yemen In Red Sea)

The Patriarchate claimed that the two victims, identified as Nahida and her daughter, Samara, were walking to the Sister’s Convent around noon before they were reportedly shot by an IDF sniper. “Seven more people” had also been shot and wounded, highlighting that there was “no warning” given from the IDF, the press release continued.

“Nahida and her daughter Samar were shot and killed as they walked to the Sister’s Convent. One was killed as she tried to carry the other to safety. Seven more people were shot and wounded as they tried to protect others inside the church compound,” the press release stated. 

“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 Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem also accused the IDF of firing a rocket at the Convent of the Sisters of Mother Theresa (the Missionaries of Charity), also located within the Holy Family Parish compound. Nuns from inside the convent reported earlier that the Israeli army had taken the church under siege late November, according to CathNews

Reportedly home to 54 disabled people, the press release claimed that the convent had its “only source of electricity” and “fuel resources” destroyed by the rocket firing, which resulted in an explosion and massive fire. Due to the destruction, the 54 disabled people are now reportedly “displaced,” according to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. (RELATED: ‘Tragic Event’: 3 Israeli Hostages Accidentally Killed By IDF Were Waving White Flag)

“The building’s generator (the only source of electricity) and the fuel resources were destroyed. The house was damaged by the resulting explosion and massive fire,” the press release stated. “Two more rockets, fired by an IDF tank, targeted the same Convent and rendered the home uninhabitable. The 54 disabled persons are currently displaced and without access to the respirators that some of them need to survive.”

The church claimed that other necessities such as solar panels and water tanks were destroyed Friday night, stating that there were “indispensable for the survival of the community.” The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem asked for prayers from the Christian community, expressing their condolences to the families affected. 

The United States government reportedly told CBS that they had “heard concerns” regarding the incident from a non-government organization which “has people on the ground” within Gaza, CBS Cheif Foreign Affairs Correspondent Margaret Brennnan tweeted Saturday.

The IDF has not released a statement in connection to the allegations at the time of publication.