JERUSALEM – AFP : An Israeli soldier shot dead a Christian mother and daughter on the grounds of a Catholic church in Gaza City on Saturday, according to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

“Around noon (1000 GMT) today… an IDF (Israeli army) sniper murdered two Christian women inside the Holy Family Parish in Gaza,” where Christian families have been sheltering since the Israel-Hamas war began, according to a statement from the patriarchate.

“As they walked to the Sister’s Convent, Nahida and her daughter Samar were shot and killed.” “One was killed while attempting to carry the other to safety,” it continued.

According to the statement, seven additional persons were injured by gunfire while attempting to protect others.

The casualties were an old mother and her daughter, according to the Vatican press office, quoting Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem.

When contacted for response, the Israeli army stated that it was investigating the event, which occurred on the grounds of the Gaza Strip’s lone Catholic church.

The patriarchate stated that no warning was provided prior to the incident, and that “they were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the Parish, where there are no belligerents.”

The patriarchate claimed in a statement that three missiles fired by an Israeli tank hit a convent, damaging its generator and fuel supply and leaving a facility housing 54 crippled persons unusable.

“The 54 disabled persons are currently displaced and without access to the respirators that some of them need to survive,” the statement said.

Three individuals were injured in the strikes, according to the Vatican press service.

Antonio Tajani, Italy’s top ambassador, issued a “heartfelt appeal to the Israeli government and army to protect Christian places of worship.”

“That is not where the Hamas terrorists are hiding,” he stated on X, which was formerly Twitter.

The Gaza war was precipitated by Hamas’ extraordinary October 7 raid on Israel, which killed around 1,140 persons, the majority of them were civilians, according to government numbers.

According to the territory’s Hamas administration, Israel’s effort to eliminate the terrorist organization has murdered at least 18,800 people, the majority of whom are women and children.

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