Statement from the House of Bishops on the war in Gaza

13/02/2024

House of Bishops makes call for immediate ceasefire and release of hostages

With the onset of Israel’s ground offensive into Rafah, we call for an immediate ceasefire. The relentless bombardment of Gaza and its huge cost in civilian lives and civilian infrastructure must stop. The manner in which this war is being prosecuted cannot be morally justified. 
 
We urge Israel to adhere to the ICJ order and to ensure that Palestinians have access to food, water, healthcare, and safety, that have long been denied to them. We welcome the Foreign Secretary’s recent call for an immediate pause in the fighting and would also welcome further representation to the Government of Israel about the way that it is exercising its right to self-defence and to affirm adherence to international law. 
 
We continue to advocate for the release of the remaining hostages and an end to the missile attacks on Israel by Hamas. All sides must begin to imagine a future beyond this conflict: for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. This war can’t result in the consolidation of a system of occupation that has for too long denied Palestinians their rights and freedoms.   
 
In praying for all those in Israel and Palestine living in the midst of war and the fear of war, we pray particularly for the Palestinian Christian communities, that they may know strength and the presence of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
 
As we consider the impact of the current conflict in the Middle East on community relations here in the UK, we again condemn all antisemitic and anti-Muslim sentiment. We are horrified by the growing threats and abuses of Jews on university campuses, in our neighbourhoods, and online. We appeal to our communities to be safe for all people whatever their nationality, ethnicity or religion. For our own part, we commit to working alongside our fellow faith leaders for the common good, despite and with our differences.

 
The House of Bishops

Post expires on April 18th, 2024

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