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CAFOD has joined Christian Aid, Church leaders and Christian organisations to call on all governments with influence to help bring an immediate end to the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Joint statement from Christian leaders
CAFOD, Christian Aid, the undersigned Church leaders and Christian organisations are gravely concerned by the mounting death toll across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. There can be no justification for the deliberate killing, maiming and kidnapping of civilians, which is a crime under international law and for which the perpetrators should be held accountable. We unequivocally condemn the violence carried out by Hamas in Israel on 7 October.
The subsequent Israeli military response in Gaza has added enormously to the toll of civilian suffering. Innocent Palestinians are going through an increasingly grave humanitarian crisis as a result the Israeli government’s strategy of relentless bombardment, which has left no place safe, and of siege, which effectively strangles life. The death toll in Gaza is over 7,000 and, with no end in sight, will no doubt dramatically rise.
We call on all governments with influence to help bring about an immediate end to the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Specifically, we call for the following steps to be taken:
Protection of civilians and an end to all violence, with adoption of a ceasefire without conditions.
The unconditional and immediate release of all hostages.
Unfettered and immediate humanitarian access, as urged by the UN, including immediate reconnection to water and electricity.
Unequivocal support for the ICC to conduct a truly independent investigation into all war crimes to ensure accountability.
Acknowledgement of the failure of the international community to effectively engage with any meaningful peace process, and a commitment to work ceaselessly from now on to address the root causes of the violence which must include an end to the occupation.
The Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and Metropolitan
The Most Revd Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin & Bishop of Glendalough, Primate of Ireland and Metropolitan
Most Revd William Nolan, Archbishop of Glasgow
Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Rt Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Susan Mitchell Assistant Clerk: General Meeting for Scotland (Quakers)
Revd. Lindsey Sanderson, Moderator Elect, National Synod of Scotland, United Reformed Church
Marian Pallister, Chair of Pax Christi Scotland
Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary, Churches Together in England
Revd Gill Newton, President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain
Deacon Kerry Scarlett, Vice-President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain
Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
Rt Revd Mary Stallard, Bishop of Llandaff
Revd Andrew Charlesworth, Chair of the Wales synod of the Methodist Church in Wales
Rev Paul Martin, Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit
Revd Judith Morris, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Wales
Rev Jeff Williams, President, Union of Welsh independents
Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD
Tim Livesey CEO Embrace the Middle East
Ann Farr, Chair, Pax Christi England and Wales
Charlotte Marshall, Director, Sabeel-Kairos UK
Rev Chris Rose, Director Amos Trust
John Cooper, Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation in England & Scotland