Pope says children dying in Gaza are the “little Jesuses of today”: Day 79

Pope says children dying in Gaza are the “little Jesuses of today”: Day 79

Pope Francis speaks about Palestine on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; deadly airstrikes in Gaza, raids in West Bank; another video released of stripped Palestinian hostages

In his Christmas Day address, Pope Francis calls for end to ‘appalling harvest’ of civilians in Gaza; children dying in wars, including in Gaza, are the “little Jesuses of today.” Addressing thousands of people from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, he pleaded for an end to Israel’s “appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims” in Gaza as he called for a solution to “the desperate humanitarian situation” in the besieged enclave.

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Speaking at Christmas Eve mass, Pope Francis began with a lament – “Tonight, our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace is once more rejected by the futile logic of war, by the clash of arms that even today prevents him from finding room in the world.” He spoke just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to fight deeper into the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

Aftermath of Israeli air attacks on homes at Maghazi camp
Aftermath of Israeli air attacks on homes at Maghazi camp (photo)

Israel’s attack on Maghazi camp, which killed over 100, was a ‘complete and real extermination.’ It was one of the deadliest attacks in two and a half months of war. One survivor said, “this place witnessed what humans could not bear and we continue to search under the rubble with our hands.”

In the West Bank: An ongoing raid on the town of Burqa, northwest of Nablus, has lasted about 20 hours. Late Sunday, the Israeli army stormed the village, closed all its entrances, raided some 200 homes, and carried out widespread arrests, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the acting governor of Nablus. He said, “I am currently inspecting the homes that were raided. What I see in the house that I am now in is disaster and massive destruction.”

At least eight Palestinians across the occupied West Bank have sustained injuries as a result of attacks by Israeli forces and illegal settlers, according to Ahmed Jibril, the director of ambulance and emergency services at the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS).

Israeli forces reportedly conducted massive raids on two refugee camps in the West Bank town of Tulkarem overnight. 

Palestinians survey the damage of an Israeli attack on the Maghazi refugee camp.
Palestinians survey the damage of an Israeli attack on the Maghazi refugee camp. (photo)


Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 20,506* (~20,203 in Gaza* (over 8,663 children), and at least 303 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 8,000 more still buried under rubble. Euro-Med Monitor reports 27,137 Palestinian deaths.

*IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incidentIsrael is blocking an international investigation.

Palestinian injuries since October 7: at least 58,665** (including at least 55,000 in Gaza** and 3,665 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to provide an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. 

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. in Gaza**. About 1.9 million people have been displaced (about 85-90% of the population).

Reported Israeli death toll since October 7: ~1,139  (7 killed in West Bank, 157 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 5,431 injured, approximately 36 children).

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates hereFor more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

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