Archbishop Atallah Hanna to ST: We condemn Israel's attacks on Damascus and Gaza

Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of al-Quds [Jerusalem] Atallah Hanna has sent a solidarity message with the Syrian people, government and leadership.

In a statement to the Syriatimes e-newspaper after the Israeli attack on Mezzah area in Damascus, His Eminence said: "We denounce the Zionist flagrant attacks on Syria and on Gaza and we offer condolences to the families of martyrs. ..We condemn these repeated attacks."

"We are one family and we consider the attacks being carried out against Syria as attacks against Palestine and vice versa. We share the same pain and the same ambition," the archbishop added.

War Crimes

In the same context, the member of the PLO Executive Committee Dr. Hanan Ashrawi sent to the Syriatimes newspaper a statement condemning the Israeli attack on Gaza.  

"Israel’s return to the illegal and criminal policy of extrajudicial assassination and its willful disregard for the lives of the Palestinian civilian population is reckless and criminal. Netanyahu is exploiting the culture of impunity to commit unchecked crimes and provoke a grave escalation for petty political and personal gain," she said.

Dr. Ashrawi added: " On orders from the highest political echelons, the Israeli army is launching an assault on the Palestinian people, providing cover for the cold-blooded extrajudicial killing of a civilian in Hebron on Monday then ordering the assassination of two senior figures in Gaza City and Damascus by bombing their homes and targeting their families."

She asserted that this pre-meditated escalation has wreaked havoc in the Gaza Strip, where life has come to a grinding halt and where an entire captive civilian population is helpless and defenseless in the face of Israeli bombardment of civilian buildings, including the direct targeting and destruction of the offices of the Independent Commission for Human Rights. "These acts constitute war crimes for which Israel must answer."

Today at 4:14am, an Israeli warplane launched 3 missiles from the occupied al-Jalil area towards Damascus city, targeting the home of Akram al-Ajouri, one of the Palestinian Jihad movement’s officials, in the western Mezzah neighborhood.

The Syrian air defense forces downed one missile before reaching its goal while the other 2 missiles fell on the house located near the Lebanese Embassy where the son of al-Ajouri and another person were martyred and his granddaughter, Batoul, plus 9 other people were wounded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour