HomeNewsChurch leaders in Jerusalem speak out on Gaza attack, seek ceasefire

Church leaders in Jerusalem speak out on Gaza attack, seek ceasefire

The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem condemned the recent attack in Gaza City, calling it “an attack against innocent civilians.” 

The statement, issued on March 1, criticizes the violence that occurred on Feb. 29 during the distribution of humanitarian aid.

Israeli forces are reported to have fired on civilians in Gaza City as they awaited food aid, resulting in 112 deaths and 760 injuries, according to the Hamas health ministry. 

The United States has asked for “a thorough investigation” into the Israeli military’s actions.

The Church leaders called for “an immediate and lengthy ceasefire” to allow for the delivery of relief supplies across Gaza and for negotiations for the release of captives and prisoners. 

They criticized Israeli military spokespersons for “denying responsibility” and “blaming the victims.”

The statement also expressed solidarity with the victims, including the 800 Christians sheltering in the Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrios and the Catholic Church of the Holy Family, and the staff and volunteers at the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital.

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The Church leaders expressed hope for “an end to violence and the beginning of diplomatic discussions leading to peace.” They prayed for the realization of “a just and lasting peace” in the region.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry in Gaza reported that Israeli forces have once again fired upon individuals seeking aid in Gaza City, resulting in dozens of casualties in what is being described as another “horrific massacre.”

Since October 7, Israeli assaults on Gaza have resulted in at least 30,410 Palestinian deaths and 71,700 injuries. The updated death toll in Israel from the Hamas attacks on October 7 is now 1,139.

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