Civilians trapped in Gaza’s Holy Family Church endure fearful conditions

GAZA — As conflict rages in Gaza, civilians seeking refuge inside the Roman Catholic Holy Family Church are facing harrowing circumstances, described by a relative as both unusual and frightening. Fifi Saba, sister to a Palestinian family sheltering within the church, shared insights into the challenging ordeal.

Residing in the United States, Fifi Saba expressed deep concern for her sister, brother-in-law, and their two children, detailing the isolating conditions they endure. In an interview with the BBC, Saba explained that the trapped individuals fear venturing outside, wary of potential gunfire.

Communication with the trapped family is limited, with Saba relying on daily updates from another family member who manages intermittent contact. The isolated group lacks access to phones and the internet, rendering them oblivious to unfolding events.

Saba recounted her sister’s inquiries about the situation beyond the church walls, noting the occasional sound of bombs overhead. Describing the prevailing fear as unusual, Saba received a distressing message from her sister, emphasizing the severity of their predicament.

Layla Moran, a member of British Parliament, disclosed that her Palestinian Christian relatives sought sanctuary in the church after their home fell victim to bombing in the conflict’s early stages. Expressing uncertainty about their survival until Christmas, Moran voiced concerns about the family’s access to essential resources like food and water.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem reported the cold-blooded shooting of two Christian women, Nahida and her daughter Samar, within the monastery premises. The announcement underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis unfolding within the Holy Family Church in Gaza.