Gaza’s Catholic priest says the situation in the territory continues to be very serious and is “worsening hour by hour.”

Speaking to AgenSIR, the Italian Catholic news agency, Father Gabriel Romanelli said Christians in Gaza “still have faith and hope in the essential – in Jesus Christ.”

Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking over 200 more as hostages.

Since that time, Israel has launched a war against Gaza, where the health minister says nearly 32,000 Palestinians have been killed.

Romanelli said the small number of Christians in Gaza “have been living a Calvary without respite for months.”

The Church of the Holy Family is the only Catholic parish in Gaza, and its compound has housed around 600 displaced Christians since the conflict began.

“The other day my vicar, Father Youssef Asaad, who is inside Gaza, told me: You can’t imagine the pain we are feeling and the desperation of the people,” Romanelli told AgenSIR.

“We are surrounded by the smell of death, we feel it, strongly, everywhere. We are buried under mountains of rubble, rubbish, the sewers have exploded,” the priest said.

“Despite everything, every day they pray for peace and offer their suffering and deprivation for the ceasefire and for the release of the hostages,” Romanelli said.

RELATED: Top papal aide backs global appeal for ceasefire in Gaza

The priest said humanitarian aid launched from the sky and on the sea by the United States and other international countries has not reached everyone.

“They didn’t arrive in the parish. However, some faithful managed to find some flour and the bakery started producing bread again. This is a great blessing for our displaced people,” he said.

The United Nations Security Council was scheduled on Friday to vote on a United States-sponsored resolution declaring that “an immediate and sustained cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war.

The newest draft “determines” — which is a council order — “the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire,” but has no direct link to the release of hostages taken by Hamas after its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which was in the previous draft, but it supports diplomatic efforts “to secure such a cease-fire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages.”

However, Israel says is determined to launch a ground offensive against Hamas in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, which it says is a stronghold for the Islamist group.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel can’t achieve its goal of “total victory” unless it defeats the four battalions Hamas has in Rafah, which currently houses 1.4 million Palestinians.

RELATED: Church leaders in Holy Land condemn ‘wanton attack’ in Gaza

Meanwhile, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem told TV2000 it will be a difficult Easter in the Holy Land.

“It is objectively an intolerable situation,” said Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

“We have always had many problems of all kinds, even the economic-financial situation has always been very fragile, but the famine has never been there. It’s the first time we have to deal with famine. This is intolerable,” he told the station.

“Everyone – religious, political and social communities – they must do everything possible to break this situation,” the cardinal said.

“The weakness of the United States creates a big dilemma because until now there has always been someone who put things right. Now all this no longer exists, we have to do it from here. I don’t know if, how and when it can be done,” Pizzaballa said.