Israel downplays assassination of two women in Gaza church by absurdly claiming they were “Hamas spotters”
12/22/2023 // Cassie B. // Views

The Israeli government has found a way to try to make its assassination of two women in a Gaza church more palatable by claiming the mother and daughter were actually “Hamas spotters” who therefore needed to be eradicated.

The women, Nahida Khalil Anton and Samar Kamal Anton, were killed by Israeli snipers while taking shelter at the Holy Family Parish, the only Catholic church in Gaza. At the time of their shooting, they were reportedly walking into the Sister’s Convent. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said that one of them was carrying the other to safety.

The patriarchate said in a statement: "Seven more people were shot and wounded as they tried to protect others inside the church compound. No warning was given, no notification was provided. They were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the parish, where there are no belligerents."

Pope Francis has already condemned the attack. He said: “Some are saying, 'This is terrorism and war.' Yes, it is war. It is terrorism.”

Some of the 300 people who are still trapped inside the church have said that Israeli snipers and tanks surrounded the walls of the compound and shot at anyone who emerged from it. In one incident, they missed the church by just inches but knocked out its fuel supplies and generator, which made it uninhabitable for many of the children, women and disabled individuals who had been hiding out there. Some of the disabled people there no longer have access to the respirators they need to survive as a result.

After sharp international criticism over the women’s murder, the Israeli government has decided to try to convince the world it was somehow justified. They stated that an initial review of the deadly incident found that a rocket-propelled grenade was fired on IDF troops from the area of the church. The troops say they identified three people there who they claim were serving as spotters for Hamas by helping to guide their attacks toward Israeli troops. The soldiers then fired on them in response, according to their rendition of events.

The White House said it has already spoken to the Israeli government about the incident. Speaking to reporters, spokesman John Kirby noted: "We have raised our concerns about this particular incident with the Israeli government -- about the need for those who have injuries or who have been wounded, to be able to be safely evacuated so they can receive appropriate medical treatment.”

He added: “We've been very clear that we believe every effort possible must be made to prevent civilian casualties.”

He said that the U.S. will be in touch with the UN and Israeli authorities to ensure that Israel is not endangering humanitarian workers and civilians who are trying to shelter while carrying out its military operations against Hamas.

Assassination comes after Israel killed 3 of its own hostages as they pleaded for help in Hebrew

The murder of the two women is just the latest deadly blunder for the Israeli military. Last week, they admitted to shooting and killing three of their own hostages in Gaza; the men were shirtless, waving a makeshift white flag at soldiers and pleading for help in Hebrew when they were shot.

The IDF has expressed its “deep remorse over the tragic incident” and is investigating. A soldier involved reportedly thought it was a trap and shouted “Terrorists!” to colleagues.

A spokesman for the IDF, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, stated: 'This is a tragic incident, the IDF bears responsibility. This is an area where the soldiers encountered many terrorists, including suicide bombers.'

Sources for this article include:

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