The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemned the recent Israeli military strike on the Holy Family School in Gaza.

The airstrike, which occurred on July 7, is said to have targeted two classrooms on the ground floor, resulting in the deaths of at least four individuals, including a senior Hamas official. Afterwards, the patriarchate expressed “grave concern” over the destruction and casualties reported there.

In a statement, the patriarchate emphasized the school’s role as a refuge for civilians: “The Sacred Family School has, since the beginning of the war, been a place of refuge for hundreds of civilians.”

The patriarchate also condemned “in the strongest terms the targeting of civilians or any belligerent actions that fall short of ensuring that civilians remain outside the combat scene.”

Despite Israeli military reportedly claiming that the school complex housed a Hamas weapons manufacturing facility, the Latin Patriarchate urged for immediate ceasefire and peace talks.

“We continue to pray for the Lord’s mercy and hope that the Parties will reach an agreement that would put an immediate end to the horrifying bloodbath and humanitarian catastrophe in the region,” the patriarchate’s statement concluded.

In December, Pope Francis called the killing of two Christians by a sniper outside the Holy Family parish “terrorism.”

Photo credit: Dan Palraz, CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED via Wikimedia Commons
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