No Christians in Gaza, claims Jerusalem deputy mayor after Israeli army kills two women at church

19 December 2023, 08:36 | Updated: 19 December 2023, 08:37

The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem claimed there are no Christians or churches in Gaza.
The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem claimed there are no Christians or churches in Gaza. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

There are no Christians or churches in Gaza, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem has claimed after the Israeli army killed two women at church.

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Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said there were no Christians in Gaza as they had been "driven out by Hamas".

She said Israel had an "obligation" to protect its citizens from another potential attack instead of accepting a ceasefire.

"If a ceasefire means the return of hostages and the dismantlement of a genocidal regime that has stated that they’re going to attack us again, then everyone would be in favour of a ceasefire," she said.

"But if a ceasefire means that we’re just going to keep them quiet for a bit until they attack again then it’s Israel’s obligation to defend its citizens and destroy that threat, don’t you think?"

When asked about reports that there are snipers waiting outside a church in Gaza, Ms Hassan-Nahoum said: "I saw the reports this morning. The church? There are no churches in Gaza."

She added: "Yes, unfortunately there are no Christians because they were driven out by Hamas."

Read more: 'We are witnessing a catastrophe': Tory MPs pile pressure on Govt to call for 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza

Read more: Israeli official brands Gaza church attack 'rather strange' as MP's family shelter with 'snipers pointing guns at them'

'Hamas have kicked all Christians out...' Deputy Jerusalem Mayor claims to Nick Ferrari

It comes after Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said that her relatives were among the Christians who sought shelter in the Holy Family Church in Gaza City.

Ms Moran told Nick: "Snipers are pointing their guns towards the church."

"The escalation in the last week has been the worst we've seen. On Tuesday there was firing, they reported the use of white phosphorus, and there was a sniper that killed two women, this is what the Pope was referring to."

The MP revealed her family was hiding in "Sunday school rooms" within the church compound.

She said two women were shot while "simply trying to get to the toilet and they were targeted by the sniper."

But when asked about the incident, Ms Hassan-Nahoum said: "Well I don’t know what happened, I don’t know who was attacked, I didn’t see the report."

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