NewsVatican's top diplomat deems Israel's Gaza operation 'disproportional': Israeli embassy responds

Vatican's top diplomat deems Israel's Gaza operation 'disproportional': Israeli embassy responds

ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 27: Rome's Jewish community demonstrates in St. Peter's Square to demand Vatican recognition of the State of Israel on January 27, 1991 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 27: Rome's Jewish community demonstrates in St. Peter's Square to demand Vatican recognition of the State of Israel on January 27, 1991 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Stefano Montesi - Corbis
2:08 PM EST, February 14, 2024

Parolin made these comments on Tuesday in Rome, during a ceremony featuring representatives of the Italian government. The Cardinal did reaffirm the Vatican's condemnation of Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7. However, he added that "With 30 thousand casualties, the operation by Israeli forces can hardly be deemed proportional".

In a diplomatic note released on Wednesday, the Israeli embassy at the Holy See objected to the secretary of state's words, labeling them a "regrettable statement".

"Judging the legality of war without considering all circumstances and relevant data will inevitably result in flawed conclusions," the note read.

The Israeli embassy's document also stated, "The Gaza Strip has metamorphosed into the largest terrorist base ever witnessed".

"Hamas has ingeniously integrated their criminal plans into nearly all civilian structures, including hospitals, schools, and places of worship," the note read.

The Israeli embassy also asserted that the civilian residents of Gaza "participated actively in the unprovoked invasion on October 7 on Israeli territory, engaging in murder, assaults, and hostage-taking of civilians".

Vatican comments on Israel conflict

On Wednesday, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano stated that the Holy See has always aligned with victims, referring to the murdered Israelis and "innocent civilians, a third of which are children, killed in the bombings of Gaza".

"The right to defend oneself, Israel's right to bring those responsible for the October massacre to justice cannot justify this slaughter," noted the Vatican newspaper a day after Cardinal Parolin's statement.

Source: PAP

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