Terror bombing of Gaza Church by Israel

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By Navaid Hamid*

NEW DELHI—Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) bombed the ancient Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza a few hours back.

The bombed Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church has a historical significance as it is the third oldest church in the world dating back to 425 AD.

At the time of the bombing of the ancient church, hundreds of Gazans had taken refuge in the premises, considering it as a safe place from Israeli-targeted bombing.

The Greek church is located close to Gaza’s Baptist Hospital, which was bombed a few days back by Israel, which resulted in the massacre of hundreds of innocent civilians during terror military targetting.

The main purpose of the bombing of Gaza’s Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital and now the Church, which stands in the neighborhood of each other, is nothing but to massacre the innocent Gazans and indulge in the genocide of the Palestinians.

The latest act of targeted terror bombing of one of the oldest churches should not be seen in isolation and fortunately, now this brazen act of terror bombing of the church has exposed Israeli PM Netanyahu’s lies that the bombing of Baptist Hospital a few days back was not Israel’s crime but of some Palestinian militant faction namely Islamic Jihad Group which has bombed Gaza Baptist Hospital.

This brazen lie of Netanyahu which was backed by US President Joe Biden during his visit to Tel Aviv was in total contradiction to initial posts on X (formerly Twitter) posted by Hananya Naftali, a close digital aide to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza,” but the post was almost immediately deleted after Netanyahu placed the accusation on Palestinians resisting militant group.

Under international laws, targetting religious places and hospitals in times of conflict is a war crime and Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank are unabetted because of the impunity it has got from the international community particularly because of the backing of the USA and its allies namely Britain France & Germany. Unfortunately, Japan which was the target of the only nuclear bombing in the Second World War allied with the culprit and supported US agenda by standing with it in opposing resolutions in the UN Security Council for the immediate de-escalation, ceasefire, and stoppage of targetting civilian population in Gaza.

However, the targets of both the bombed locations were civilians including children, women and old innocents who considering them safe places have taken refuge in both premises and on both targetted places, Israel’s sole agenda was to create an atmosphere of terror and to force the Palestinians to move to the southern Gaza and ultimately create the condition for mass displacement of the Palestinians to Sinai desert in neighboring Egypt which not only all factions of the Palestinian leadership including the Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas apart from Hamas but also Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and crown prince Mohammad bin Salman and most importantly the combined leadership of Organisation of Islamic Countries’ has categorically rejected.

It’s high time to understand and accept that not only the Muslims but all Palestinians, irrespective of their religious affiliations, are targets of the zionist state of Israel including Jews and Christians who were living in harmony for centuries in Palestine before the forced annexation of Palestinian land to establish undoubtedly a Zionist state of Israel in the West Asia.

(The writer is secretary of the South Asian Council for Minorities, and former President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat).

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