Israel’s foreign minister, Eli Cohen spewed staunch words toward the Vatican for not issuing a “clear and unequivocal” condemnation of the “murderous terrorist actions” of Hamas terrorists who poured into Israel last week and killed more than 1,300 Israelis in a surprise attack, according to reports.
The Times of Israel reported that Cohen told the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States Paul Gallagher that the people of Israel “expects the Vatican to come out with a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the murderous terrorist actions.”
“It is unacceptable that you put out a statement expressing worry primarily for Gazan civilians while Israel is burying 1,300 who were murdered,” Cohen said, according to the Foreign Ministry.
On Oct. 7, Hamas-led forces crossed the Israel-Gaza border while residents were sleeping, dragging people into the street, taking some hostage while beading and killing others.
Over 1,300 Israelis were killed in the attack, with thousands more wounded and many taken hostage by Hamas, and raped, tortured and murdered.
Since the attack, officials with the Catholic Church have issued a range of reactions.
“I follow with apprehension and sorrow what is happening in Israel,” Pope Francis said the day after the attack. “I express my solidarity with the relatives of the victims, and I pray for all those who are experiencing hours of terror and anguish.”
The Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem issued a statement while fighting continued last Saturday.
“The operation launched from Gaza and the reaction of the Israeli Army are bringing us back to the worst period in our recent history,” the Latin Patriarchate said. “The too many casualties and tragedies, which both Palestinians and Israeli families have to deal with, will create more hatred and division, and will destroy more and more any perspective of stability.”
Just before the fighting began, Gallagher was reportedly planning on visiting Israel, which would have been the first bilateral visit by a Vatican foreign minister.
Last Wednesday, Pope Francis affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, but questioned whether it would lead to sustainable peace.
“I continue to follow what is happening in Israel and Palestine with tears and apprehension: many people killed, others injured,” the pope said. “I pray for those families who have seen a feast day transformed into a day of mourning, and I ask that the hostages be released immediately.”