French President Expresses ‘Great Concern’ Regarding Gaza Catholic Parish

Mon Dec 25 2023
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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed “great concern” regarding a Catholic parish in the Gaza Strip with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Macron office said on Sunday.

President Macron spoke with Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa by phone to discuss the “tragic situation” in the region since the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7.

Macron said that hundreds of civilians have been living under bullets and bombs for more than two months while worshippers take care of the sick, disabled or elderly in the area.

French President Expresses ‘Great Concern’ Regarding Gaza Catholic Parish

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem stated earlier that Israeli army personnel shot dead “in cold blood” a Christian mother and daughter on the land of Gaza’s only Catholic church.

AFP reported that Macron offered his deep condolences for the parishioners who he said were killed “shamefully” a week following Pope Francis condemned their killings.

Earlier, Bethlehem decided to cancel its annual Christmas celebrations due to the ongoing siege of Gaza, around three months into the war between Hamas and Israel.

READ ALSO: Israel Continues Relentless Airstrikes in Gaza as Death Toll Surges to 20,424

Bethlehem is located in the Occupied West Bank – is typically flooded with visitors and other celebrants in late December.

The courtyards and streets in Bethlehem are mostly empty, the roads and routes leading to the city have been sealed off by Israeli troops, and several towns and villages in the area have been violently attacked by armed Israeli troops.

Churches across the region announced the cancellation of all Christmas festivities in an expression of unity with people in the Gaza Strip.

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