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CAFOD reaction to attacks on Holy Family Church compound in Gaza

16 December 2023

CAFOD has commented on reports of people sheltering within the Holy Family Church compound in Gaza being killed by sniper fire, and rocket fire shutting off the last generator powering a home for disabled people.

Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy at the Catholic aid agency CAFOD, which is funding some of the work to support families seeking refuge at the compound, said:

“Having provided refuge many times to those sheltering from Gaza’s violence, whether to Christians or those from other religions, the Holy Family compound is a place of sanctuary and should have been respected as such. It’s because it’s such a long-standing and well recognised place of worship in the area that today’s reports are all the more shocking.

“If the relentless tide of tragic news coming from the region tells us anything, it’s that no true and lasting peace can be achieved for either side through indiscriminate killing and continued warfare. We urge all those with influence to join their voices with that of Pope Francis in calling for an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages.”

Notes to editors

  • For more information and interviews contact Laura Ouseley on, +44 (0)7909 875 956 or CAFOD's out-of-hours media hotline: +44 (0)7919 301 429.

  • CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. Working with communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to fight poverty and injustice. The agency works with people in need, regardless of race, gender, religion or nationality.

  • Read more about CAFOD’s response to the crisis.

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