HomeNewsGaza priest visiting Glasgow says Palestinians are almost living in Hell

Gaza priest visiting Glasgow says Palestinians are almost living in Hell

PALESTINIANS are “living in (almost) Hell – if it wasn’t for the presence of Christ” a visiting priest from Gaza to Glasgow said.

Father Gabriel Romanelli – of Holy Family parish in Gaza – said this during his homily at St Andrews Metropolitan Cathedral, where the congegration heard about just some of the horrors his parishioners face.

He said: “I come to Glasgow with only a simple message: I am the parish priest of the only Catholic church in the Gaza Strip of Palestine – to ask everyone to (do) anything to stop this war.”

He also said a ceasefire is “necessary”, adding: “The ceasefire is not the solution but it is one necessary step to restart dialogue between the parties.

“The situation is terrible. From the terrible October 7 attacks, and also before, but especially from October 7, the situation is horrible.

“Gaza is a hell – almost hell – almost 34,000 killed there in spite of the 1,200 people in Israel.

“The number of wounded in Israel is more than 4,500. In the Gaza Strip, from the beginning of the war 77,000 people there (are injured) and the majority of the victims are children and women.

“After more than six months, the consequences of this war are horrible, very, very bad, and not only for the Palestinian society, but also for Israel.”

He went on to say he sends messages to his congregation to “try to find peace even in this hell”, adding: “Our church will always be an oasis for people. Unfortunately, this oasis has become a shelter, a hospital and a cemetery.”

The church had around 1,017 members prior to the October 7 attacks but at least 240 have left the Gaza Strip in fear of the war.

Fr Gabriel said: “The people inside our compound at this moment, there is around 500 people inside and they are very depressed.

“They don’t know when this war will finish. Unfortunately, there is not one safe space in all of the Gaza Strip, neither in the north or south.”

He said Gaza was “never a peace land” prior to the war, adding: “Before the war, for the last 16 years, Gaza was, according to many people, the largest prison in the world, because one of the characteristics of the prison is people are not allowed to go out.”

This comes as a Franciscan priest living in the Holy Land described war as “a way of life” for those living in the area.

The ongoing Israeli military actions in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of over 33,000 Palestinians, state local health officials, and have pushed a third of Gaza’s population to the verge of starvation.

This escalation followed an attack by Hamas on October 7, which claimed the lives of approximately 1,200 people in Israel.

“The Holy Land has been at war for almost seven months,” said Franciscan Father Ibrahim Faltas, Vicar of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

“It is a way of life, or rather an obligation to live the evil of war that no one can get used to,” he told Agenzia Fides.

He continued: “About two million people experience the suffering of lack of everything. These are people who will experience. The famine, the lack of care, the lack of dignity in 2024.”

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