Statement From The Embassy Of Israel To The Holy See

Israeli ambassador attacks Vatican for stating the obvious: that there is disproportionate killing in Gaza

In the Declaration, the ambassador forgets to say that the right to exist belongs to both states, not just Israel, and that this is practically the unanimous stance of the international community

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 02.15.2024).- In the context of the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Lateran Pacts, agreements through which the Italian state recognized the independence of the Pope in the territory of the Vatican City State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s Secretary of State, made some statements related to the current situation in the Holy Land.

Cardinal Parolin emphasized that “It is necessary to find other ways to resolve the problem in Gaza and Palestine. The Holy See has been saying this from the beginning: on one hand, it unequivocally and unreservedly condemns what happened on October 7th.” He added, “An unequivocal and unreserved condemnation of all forms of anti-Semitism, I reiterate here, but at the same time also a request for Israel’s right to self-defense, which has been invoked to justify this operation as proportional, and with 30,000 deaths, it certainly is not.”

Indeed, since the beginning of Israel’s military incursion into Gaza, there have been at least 30,000 casualties, most of them civilians. In fact, the Italian Foreign Minister also described Israel’s response as disproportionate. More recently, Egypt threatened to break the peace agreements given the killings of civilians in more cities in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Embassy to the Holy See promptly described Cardinal Parolin’s words as “deplorable,” although shortly thereafter, it released another statement saying that the translation into Italian, from the original English, had not been the best. The first statement read:

“On the occasion of the anniversary of the Lateran Pact, His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin stated that the 30,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza, according to Hamas sources, indicate that Israel’s response to the massacre of October 7th is disproportionate.

This is a deplorable statement. Judging the legitimacy of a war without considering ALL the circumstances and relevant data inevitably leads to erroneous conclusions.

Among these relevant data are the following:

  • Gaza has been turned by Hamas into the largest terrorist base ever seen. There is hardly any civilian infrastructure that has not been used by Hamas for its criminal plans, including hospitals, schools, places of worship, and many others.
  • A significant part of Hamas’ “project,” that is, the construction of this unprecedented terrorist infrastructure, has been actively supported by the local civilian population. Gaza civilians also actively participated in the unprovoked invasion of Israeli territory on October 7th, killing, raping, and taking civilians hostage. All these acts are defined as war crimes.
  • In marked contrast, IDF operations are carried out in full compliance with international law.
  • According to available data, for every Hamas militant killed, three civilians lost their lives. All civilian casualties must be lamented, but in past wars and operations by NATO forces or Western forces in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan, the ratio was 9 or 10 civilians for every terrorist. Therefore, the percentage of IDF efforts to avoid civilian deaths is approximately 3 times higher, despite the Gaza battlefield being much more complicated, as mentioned earlier.

On this basis, any objective observer cannot help but conclude that

The responsibility for death and destruction in Gaza lies with Hamas and Hamas alone. This is too often and easily forgotten. It is not enough to condemn the genocide massacre of October 7th and then point the finger at Israel, referring to its right to exist and self-defense only as a simple duty and without considering the overall picture.

In the Declaration, the ambassador forgets to say that the right to exist belongs to both states, not just Israel, and that this is practically the unanimous stance of the international community. In fact, the current government has denied recognizing Palestine’s right to exist by not acknowledging the two-state solution.”


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