Home News & Events Israel-Hamas War: Church Leaders Urge Peace & Condemn Attacks On Civilians

Israel-Hamas War: Church Leaders Urge Peace & Condemn Attacks On Civilians

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Israel & Hamas War

– Israel & Hamas War – Christian Leaders Calls For Peace Amidst Escalating Attacks

In the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, tensions have reached a critical point, has Israel have declared war on Hamas in response to an unusual attack that took place on Saturday.

The assault, carried out through air, sea, and land, has resulted in a significant loss of life on both sides. Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus reported that over 1,200 people have died in Israel, while Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have claimed the lives of at least 1,055 individuals.

As the militants retreated into Gaza, reports arose that they had taken up to 150 hostages with them. They have threatened to harm these hostages if Gaza is targeted by airstrikes without prior warning. In response, Israel has vowed that Hamas will face severe consequences and may be preparing for a ground incursion into Gaza.

Israel has not faced this level of attack on its own territory since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Furthermore, the assault has caused a significant number of civilian casualties, including children and the elderly. Hamas named the operation “Al-Aqsa Storm” and cited Israeli attacks on women, the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the ongoing siege of Gaza as motives for their actions.

In response to the attack, Israel has launched “Operation Swords of Iron” and is targeting suspected Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that hundreds, including dozens of children, have been killed thus far.

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant has ordered a complete siege on Gaza, resulting in the shutdown of crossings between Israel and Gaza and the withholding of essential supplies, including electricity, food, fuel, and water.

Amidst this, leaders from Christian churches in Jerusalem are appealing for peace and equal rights. Pope Francis and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem have both called for an end to the conflict and condemned attacks on civilians. They join a chorus of Christian leaders expressing their concerns and advocating for a peaceful resolution of the war.

Pope Francis, on Wednesday called for the immediate release of hostages taken during the fight between Hamas and Israel.

“I ask that the hostages be released immediately,” the 86-year-old head of the worldwide Catholic Church said.

He added, “It is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves, but I am very worried about the total siege in which the Palestinians live in Gaza, where there have also been many innocent victims.

“Terrorism and extremism do not help reach a solution to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, but fuel hatred, violence, revenge and only make both sides suffer.

“The Middle East does not need war but peace, a peace built on justice, dialogue and the courage of fraternity.”

The group of patriarchs includes the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, primate of the province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

“We unequivocally condemn any acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or faith,” the patriarchs said. “We implore political leaders and authorities to engage in sincere dialogue, seeking lasting solutions that promote justice, peace and reconciliation for the people of this land, who have endured the burdens of conflict for far too long.”

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The Episcopal Church also that “The actions of Hamas and the Israeli response in Gaza in no way advance peace, but rather cause loss of life and harm, grief and devastation,” the statement reads. “Not only to the individuals affected, but also to the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people in seeking an end to the decades long occupation and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, it is important to note that reports claiming the destruction of an old church in Gaza, The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius, have been debunked as false. The church authorities have refuted these claims, clarifying that the church remains intact.

“We would like to inform you that Saint Porphyrios Church in Gaza is untouched and operating in service of the community and our congregation.”

“The news circulating about it being damaged are false,” it continued.

This misinformation just signifies the challenges of verifying information in times of conflict.

The Israel & Hamas war continues to unfold, with escalating violence and an increasing death toll. Efforts to de-escalate the situation, promote peace, and protect the rights of civilians remains crucial. In this challenging time, let us offer prayers for the safety of everyone and the quick restoration of peace.

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