Israel Outraged as Vatican Calls Gaza a ‘Big Concentration Camp’

Foreign Ministry Says Cardinal's Comments 'Based on Hamas Propaganda'

Echoing Pope Benedict XVI’s repeated calls to end the ongoing bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, Vatican Justice and Peace Minister Cardinal Renato Martino urged both the Israeli government and Hamas to show more willingness toward peace talks and for the world to help them come an agreement that would end the ongoing Israeli invasion.

He also expressed concerns about the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, saying “let’s look at the conditions in Gaza: these increasingly resemble a big concentration camp.”

Israel, as has been so often the case as the international community condemns the situation in Gaza, is outraged. The Foreign Ministry accused the Cardinal of making comments “based on Hamas propaganda” and likewise slammed him for “ignoring its numerous crimes,” even though he explicitly called for both sides to end their attacks. He said the Cardinal’s comments would not “bring the people closer to truth and peace.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.