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House of Commons
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House of Commons
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Lib Dem MP Layla Moran appeals for help for family trapped in Gaza church compound

by Donna Birrell

The Lib Dem MP Layla Moran is appealing for help for her family and others who are trapped in the compound of the Catholic Church in Gaza City.

In a post on social media site X she said her family were reporting white phosphorous and gunfire into the compound from soldiers outside the gates. They said the bin collector and the janitor had been shot and that their bodies remained uncollected. 

Ms Moran, whose mother is a Christian Arab from Jerusalem, said there were around 300 people sheltering in the compound of the Holy Family Church.

Urging people to share her post widely across social media, the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon added:

"It's been a horrible few days...

"The generators have also stopped working and so calls are v short now. No internet of course. They are beyond desperate and terrified. It’s been over 60 days now and it’s just getting worse and worse."

Her post has been seen more than 1.7million times so far.

Earlier this week, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem confirmed that shrapnel from Israeli army strikes on nearby buildings had destroyed water tanks and solar panels on the roofs of the Holy Family Church and associated parish buildings in Gaza City. Cars and other parts of the parish complex were also damaged.

The parish has also run out of fuel, depriving the community of electricity and any stable means of communication.

Ms Moran, who is also the Lib Dem Foreign Affairs spokesperson, has spoken previously about her extended family, who are Christian Palestinians living in Gaza City. She said they had had their house bombed by the Israel Defence Forces, staying in a church and being “too old” to flee the 25-mile strip.

In a post on X in October she wrote about her own position on the conflict:

"I am on the side of basic humanity. I am on the side of consensus. I am on the side of the Israeli community, the Palestinian community, of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities."

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