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A statement of the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Suhail Diwani

December 29, 2008

Jerusalem

During recent weeks, the three Abrahamic Faiths have observed their Holy Seasons with a sense of peace and goodwill. Therefore, we are greatly grieved by the severity of the ongoing military operations in Gaza that are occurring in heavily populated areas and impacting the civilian population.

As a Diocese with well over a century of an unbroken commitment to the well being and peace of the community in Gaza City through our Al Ahli Arab Hospital, we are both stunned and saddened by the events unfolding in Gaza.

The heavy loss of Palestinian lives and the serious wounds and injuries to many hundreds of innocent bystanders require the immediate cessation of hostilities for the well being and safety of both the Palestinian and Israeli communities, and especially for Gaza and the nearby Israeli population centers.  The gravity of the situation threatens to engulf this entire region and we ask the Palestinians and Israelis to return to active negotiations for the well being and safety of both communities.

Of immediate concern is the urgent medical services needed by the victims of this violence. The immensity of providing care for the injured and wounded is overwhelming a healthcare system struggling to provide essential healthcare services for 1.5 million Palestinians, most of who live in refugee camps. 

As the casualties and human suffering continue to rise, we appeal to the Israeli and Palestinian communities to exercise responsible restraint.  We urgently call on all parties to immediately cease hostilities, and provide for the humanitarian needs of those directly affected by the conflict. At the same time, we can assure the Gaza communities that the Al Ahli Hospital will continue, as it has for many decades.

 

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