Jordan airdrops aid to besieged Christians in Gaza's oldest church on Christmas Eve

King Abdullah II says joy and peace is absent from this year's festival because of war and restrictions on worshippers

Jordan airdrops aid to besieged Christians in Gaza on Christmas Eve

Jordan airdrops aid to besieged Christians in Gaza on Christmas Eve
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Jordan air-dropped supplies to Christians sheltering in a church in northern Gaza on Christmas Eve as as King Abdullah II lamented the absence of joy and peace in the region this Christmas.

A Royal Jordanian Air Force plane parachuted food and humanitarian aid to people stranded in the St Porphyrius Church in Gaza city on Sunday evening, a military official said.

About 800 Gazan Christians are believed to have sought refuge in the centuries-old Greek Orthodox church as Israel conducts a military offensive that has devastated the Palestinian territory.

More than 20,000 people have been killed and most of the population displaced by Israel's war on Gaza's Hamas rulers, which began on October 7 after the militant group killed about 1,200 people and took more than 240 hostage in attacks in southern Israel.

"While the world celebrates Christmas, joy and peace are absent among Christian people in the Holy Land, which cannot enjoy peace in light of the brutal aggression against the people in Gaza and the restrictions on worshipers in Jerusalem and Bethlehem," King Abdullah said.

"Our wishes for peace to our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine and the world," the monarch said in a post on his official X account on Sunday evening.

He told religious leaders from Jerusalem and Jordan at a meeting at Al Husseiniya Palace last week that the kingdom was making every effort to assist the people stranded in St Porphyrius Church, Jordan's news agency Petra reported.

Jordan has previously carried air drops of medical supplies to its field hospital in Gaza city.

"Given the ongoing Israeli war that has clouded the Christmas spirit, this seventh airdrop from Jordan is a show of support for our Christian brothers in the Gaza Strip," the military official said.

Updated: December 25, 2023, 10:19 AM