Layla Moran talks about her family who are trapped in Gaza Church

Layla Moran has been talking to the BBC about the plight of her family members, who remain trapped in a Catholic Church in Gaza. One family member died last month and her fear for the others is clear.

The Liberal Democrat says her family are “days away from dying” without access to water or food.

Her relatives and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem say a mother and daughter were killed inside the Holy Family Church complex on Saturday by sniper fire.

Members of Ms Moran’s extended family – a grandmother, her son, his wife and their 11-year-old twins – are Christian Palestinians who sought refuge inside the church after their home was bombed in the first week of the war.

They have been staying on mattresses along with dozens of others in rooms in the Holy Family Church for more than 60 days.

“I’m now no longer sure they are going to survive until Christmas,” Ms Moran told the BBC.

The conditions sound horrific and terrifying:

The five remaining members say they now no longer have access to food or water, and the last remaining generator – which was pumping water from wherever they could get it – has stopped working in the church.

They say soldiers entered the church compound in the last 24 hours and took over a room in a building.

Earlier in the week, the family heard shots being fired and saw bullet casings in the church compound. They say two men were killed on Tuesday while they were coming and going from the building – a bin collector and a janitor.

Layla said there was no indication why the church had been targeted:

Ms Moran says there has been no explanation as to why Israeli soldiers would target the church and no warnings or leaflets were sent to people sheltering there.

“It does feel like it’s making a mockery of keeping civilians safe,” Ms Moran adds.

On Twitter, Layla went into more detail about what was happening:

It’s been a horrible few days. My family in the Catholic Church in Gaza city are reporting white phosphorous and gunfire into their compound. The bin collector and the janitor have been shot and their bodies are laying outside and remain uncollected.

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.

Our hearts go out to Layla, her family and everyone else caught up in this desperate situation.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Mick Taylor 17th Dec '23 - 8:55pm

    My heart goes out to Layla and her family. Surely the time has come for a ceasefire and peace talks. This wanton attack on civilians must stop.

  • Steve Trevethan 18th Dec '23 - 8:34am

    Well done, Layla, for supporting her family!

    What might our party do to try to lessen the harms done in and around Gaza?

  • Peter Hirst 18th Dec '23 - 2:03pm

    What a terible situation. My heart goes out to all involved. I saw your excellent interview on Sky News.

  • Added to Layla’s family connection has been the burden of carrying the Liberal Democrat Party on her own, throughout the tragedy engulfing Gaza. She deserves our respect for that, but where is the rest of our party? We should have a louder voice in demanding condemnation by the UK government of the multitude of breaches of international law by Israel. Hamas is no better, prolonging the pointless slaughter of innocent civilians in a military campaign they know they can’t win.
    Not only have around 70,000 been killed or injured, the entire population of Gaza is facing starvation and disease while they try to survive and look after their children amongst the rubble created by the warring factions

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