Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Saturday, 10 February 2024
Holy Land: 30 Christians killed in Gaza since war started

Maria Lozano/ :

According to Church sources, 30 Christians have lost their lives due to the conflict in Gaza.


Out of approximately 1,000 Christians remaining, 19 have been killed by military action and 11 have died because of a lack of medical care in the four months since the war began.


Two women were shot dead by sniper fire at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Gaza City last December.


At the parish, a priest and seven religious Sisters have been looking after 560 Christians – including 140 children and 84 people over the age of 65.


In October, 17 people were killed while taking refuge at nearby St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox Church, when rockets hit the compound during an aerial attack on a Hamas command post.


A further 11 Christians have died from chronic illnesses left untreated because of the growing humanitarian crisis – one of them, 48-year-old Hani Abu Daud, passed away after hospitals became unable to provide dialysis treatments due to a lack of fuel and electricity.


George Akroush, director of the Project Development Office at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN): “20 litres of diesel cost €200 [£170], and only provide energy for the generators for two hours.”


He said that 10 more people are at risk of dying because of a lack of adequate treatment.


The situation is deteriorating by the day, with food and fuel becoming increasingly difficult to come by and no fully functional hospitals left in the Gaza Strip, according to the World Health Organization.


Water pumps have also stopped functioning, so residents have to try to manually extract water from wells, according to Mr Akroush.


He said: “Hygiene has become a serious issue, especially for the children, who are falling ill because of lack of water and basic supplies, such as flour and diapers.”


He highlighted that those sheltering in the churches have to exercise extreme caution when stepping outside because “any suspicious or dangerous movement will put your life at risk and might be your last.


“After four months under siege, they are tired, and many are sick.”


Mr. Akroush added that the mass destruction of homes and infrastructure makes the future of Christianity in the Gaza Strip uncertain.


He told ACN: “They say that 62 percent of the houses have been totally destroyed, and that reconstruction will last until 2093 according to some international and United Nations agencies active on the ground.

“With all of this, one has to ask what future is there for Christians in this country?


“What is going to happen? Nobody knows.


“Please, pray for us, do not forget the suffering of the Christians in this part of the world.”


International Catholic charity ACN has helped the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem to provide food coupons, medical aid and assistance with housing costs and tuition fees for Christians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


The charity supported the Patriarchate with £430,000 (€500,000) between January and April 2024, bringing the combined total amount of help given since last October to nearly £600,000 (€700,000).