'Please Make This Stop': British-Palestinian MP's Plea Over Israel's Church Siege

Layla Moran's family are among those trapped inside the compound in Gaza City.
Layla Moran is the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon.
Layla Moran is the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

A British-Palestinian MP has made an urgent plea for the international community to help stop the siege of a Catholic Church in Gaza by Israeli forces.

Layla Moran said she has family were among 300 people trapped in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem compound just days before Christmas.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter) last week, she said: “It’s been a horrible few days. My family in the Catholic Church in Gaza city are reporting white phosphorous and gunfire into their compound.

“The bin collector and the janitor have been shot and their bodies are laying outside and remain uncollected.”

Moran, the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said those inside the compound were “beyond desperate and terrified”.

On Saturday, she posted: “Soldiers are at the gates and there was a fire when they hit one of the (already dysfunctional) generators. There is no water left.

“There are 300 people there. We don’t know why this is happening. Are they going to be expelled from a church just days before Christmas??!”

In a further update yesterday, the MP said “a tank has taken position outside the church” and that anyone leaving the church was being shot.

In her latest message, she posted: “Yesterday the Father got a call from the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) saying between 2-4pm they would not fire on them. This meant they could move around to check on each other. That’s 2hrs where civilians in a church could use the toilets without being killed. Please make this stop. Please.”

Pope Francis, who has repeatedly spoken out against the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, expressed concern on Sunday about Israel’s church attacks, which he described as “terrorism.”

The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) told HuffPost that it is conducting a “thorough review” of the attack, claiming that soldiers were targeting a Hamas-related “threat that they identified in the area of the church.”

“The IDF takes claims regarding harm to sensitive sites with the utmost seriousness ― especially churches ― considering that Christian communities are a minority group in the Middle East,” the IDF said.


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