Twal: Don't punish all Gazans because of Hamas

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Twal: Don't punish all Gazans because of Hamas

WASHINGTON (CNS)

It is impossible for Israeli military to target Hamas missiles without hitting civilians in the Gaza Strip, said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem. People might not agree with Hamas, which controls Gaza, but "we cannot punish all the population because you do not agree with Hamas," he told Catholic News Service in Washington July 23.

"We have hundreds and hundreds of killed people, innocent people, 80 per cent innocent," he said, noting the deaths of "mothers, children, students. In Gaza, when (Israelis) strike, there is no shelter," he said. "The Israeli people are happy to have bomb shelters, and they can go escape when they want," he said, referring to the rockets Hamas has been firing into Israel. "Meanwhile, in Gaza, we have nothing. No shelters, and they (people) are in the street."

Patriarch Twal emphasized that the church "absolutely condemns" the firing of Hamas rockets. "But remember these rockets: They make noise, they make fear, they never killed one person," he said. The patriarch was visiting the United States July 17 when Israel began its ground campaign into Gaza in response to a string of escalating events that began with the kidnappings and deaths of Israeli and Palestinian teens. Israel began airstrikes July 8 and by July 23, the Israeli death toll stood at 32 soldiers and three civilians; the Health Ministry in Gaza said more than 660 Palestinians had been killed and more than 4,120 wounded.

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:10
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