‘That is a genocide’: Palestinian priest begs for ceasefire, describes horrors of war

A Palestinian priest described the horrors of war in Gaza and begged for a ceasefire as hospitals are running out of water, fuel and electricity, during an interview with News4JAX on Wednesday.

The strikes continue, and the death toll is rising amid the war between Hamas and Israel.

A Palestinian priest, rector of St. Andrews Episcopal in Ramallah in the West Bank, Father Fadi Diab, wants to send a reminder that these are people, not numbers.

“We’re devastated. We are heartbroken. We are traumatized. We are shocked,” Diab said.

Father Diab is the vice chair of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, a hospital that was bombed on Oct. 17 which resulted in 471 deaths.

“There is no excuse. What is what is happening in Gaza is a brutal attack on civilians, on health care institutions, on human rights organizations, on the UN,” Diab said.

The cause of the hospital blast is still disputed.

Israel said it came from an enemy rocket within Gaza, while many Palestinians blame Israel.

“Well, you know that one of the really painful feelings about this conflict is to feel abandoned? To feel like the international community is really getting you to the state of nothingness. I think this is the feeling of being left alone, I think is the worst among all,” Diab said.

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“Of course, there is no excuse of any, any violence against civilians,” Diab said when asked about the Hamas attack at an Israeli music festival that left hundreds dead. “So I mean, I think there is no excuse for Hamas militants to go into Israel attack people, there is no excuse for the Israeli army to bomb civilians, there is no excuse for us to bomb a city somewhere or a village somewhere, there is no excuse for Russia to bomb, you know, Ukrainian civilians.”

There’s ongoing controversy over humanitarian aid.

There is a small amount of supplies coming in, and Gaza is dangerously low on fuel for hospitals already without electricity. Even something as simple as drinking water is running out.

Six Gaza hospitals have closed because of a lack of fuel.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said this is a violation of international humanitarian law.

“That is a genocide. How can anyone cut water on a whole community devastating them to the state of death?” Diab said.

Diab is begging for a ceasefire.

“We want to save lives. I think the most important thing in this is to save lives, on both sides,” Diab said.

Israel is standing behind its offensive and said Hamas has hundreds of hostages and is using Palestinians as human shields.

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“A lot of us would say in the United States feel helpless because we see this pain, we see the suffering, we see the destruction. And we want to help, but we don’t know how. What can we do?” reporter Vic Miccolucci asked.

“Well, I think, I do believe that we can do a lot, even with small, small acts of telling truth, of questioning the general narrative of reaching to the other narrative. By reaching out, you know, what you’re doing here today is you’re trying to help. And I hope the Western media would listen more to the voices on the ground. I think these voices matter for what is true, and what is genuine,” Diab said.

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