An Israeli army sniper shot dead two women in the Gaza Strip, according to a Catholic church. A woman and her daughter who had sought shelter in the church were killed "in cold blood," the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said on Saturday.
The sniper shot them on the grounds of the parish, "where there are no participants in the war" and most Christian families sought refuge from the fighting. The woman was killed while trying to bring the other to safety. Israel's army did not issue any warning beforehand. Seven other people were injured by the fire.
In addition to the attack, several shells from Israeli tanks also hit a monastery on the church grounds where more than 50 people with disabilities lived. The building is no longer habitable due to the damage caused by an explosion and fire. People have been displaced, including some who need ventilators to survive.
When asked, the Israeli army initially did not comment on the allegations, which could not be independently verified.
A British MP told the BBC news channel that her relatives were seeking shelter in the church along with hundreds of other civilians. Her family has no access to food or water and is “a few days from death,” said Layla Moran. After contacting her family, she described the situation as “terrible” on social media. Two church employees were shot and their bodies lay outside the church, Moran wrote at X.
Before the war began, around 2.2 million people lived in the Gaza Strip. The population is almost exclusively Muslim. According to church figures, less than one percent of the population is Christian.