Appeals by the Bishops of the Church of England
“We pledge ourselves to pray for and take public actions in support of our fellow citizens of Jewish or Islamic faith. We recognise that within the church, too, we must acknowledge our own differences on this matter with care and generosity. The way individuals and communities act here and now could shape and influence what happens next. So, while we must condemn utterly those who foster fear and hatred in our communities, we must also galvanise and support those who are modelling something different and seeking the way of peace.
“Recognising the troubled history, we nevertheless cling to the longstanding vision of a peaceful region where the peoples of Israel and Palestine can live in security, justice, peace and harmony in their own lands, we therefore appeal:
- For Hamas to release all hostages unconditionally and unharmed.
- For immediate humanitarian pauses that will enable the wounded and the most vulnerable to be evacuated under ICRC or UN supervision, holding out hope for a ceasefire in the longer term.
- For safe areas to be established across Gaza with communications, food, water and medical support, under international supervision.
- For the Israeli Government to protect the population of the Occupied Territories and arrest anyone threatening them, without fear or favour.
- For all parties to this conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law and to take all necessary steps to minimise harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.