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Archbishops' statement on Violence in Israel and Gaza

In response to the violence in Israel and the Gaza which has erupted over the weekend the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued the following statement

“We are grieved and deeply concerned at the violence in Israel and Gaza, and we unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. We pray for those who are mourning, those who are injured, and all those fearing for their safety. We pray for restraint on all sides, and renewed efforts towards a just peace for all. The way forward must be for both sides to build confidence in a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognised borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security, and with peace and justice.”

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, has responded to the latest outbreak of hostilities around Gaza with the following statement:

"As I watch the latest developments from Israel and Gaza, I weep for the peoples of the region and pray for peace. In particular, I pray for the safety of all civilians – whether residents or tourists and pilgrims – and I pray for a cessation of violence.

"I also pray for the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Hosam Naoum, and other Christian leaders, as they continue to serve their people and work for peace and reconciliation.

The Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem runs the al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza. Its director, Suhaila Tarazi writes:

On 7 October 7 at 6.30 am, the people of Gaza woke up scared, witnessing a horrible situation. They couldn’t figure out what was going on for the first 20 to 30 minutes. Official channels then confirmed that Palestinian militant groups had fired thousands of rockets towards Israel. Clashes occurred in the border towns. Israel's military has since bombed back some targets in the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli government declared it would respond with a huge retaliation against Gaza and Palestinian fighters.

The situation is severely critical, and the consequences for people in Gaza are very bad, particularly in the health sector. The Ministry of Health has triggered an emergency situation and asked all health-service providers to increase their emergency response capacity. Life in Gaza is paralysed, with all institutions and private sectors closed, affecting the people's access to basic needs, particularly health.

The role of AAH could be highly significant in saving lives during emergencies and in eliminating the gap in the healthcare system.

AAH management has held an internal emergency meeting to discuss the situation, to agree on an AAH response plan, and to identify the required resources to ensure provision of comprehensive healthcare. The team will schedule its technical staff to ensure that the hospital is accessible 24 hours a day.

Please pray with us that this wave of violence will be stopped, as there are no winners in wars. All are losers.

Should you wish to DONATE to the Al Ahli Hospital Appeal please click here.


8th October 2023