| Bishops of the Church of England | MR Online

Church of England urges ‘Israel’ to stop ‘relentless bombardment’

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on February 13, 2024 by News websites (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Feb 14, 2024)

Leading bishops in the Church of England have called for “Israel” to cease its “relentless bombardment” of Gaza, asserting that the war lacks ‘moral justification.’

In a statement issued by the House of Bishops, the church expressed concern about the potential outcome of the war, emphasizing the risk of perpetuating an occupation that has historically deprived Palestinians of their fundamental rights and freedoms. It comes amid concerns about the prospect of an invasion of Rafah.

The town has become a safe zone for over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants, who have sought refuge there after fleeing from fighting in other parts of the region.

The bishops’ cautionary statement follows remarks from Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who pointed out that many residents of Rafah had already sought refuge from other war zones. He emphasized the “impossibility of conducting warfare among these displaced individuals, given the lack of safe havens for them to seek shelter.”

Cameron urged for an “immediate pause” in the fighting, expressing hope that such a pause would pave the way for a “sustainable ceasefire.”

In response to Cameron, the church stated “We welcome the Foreign Secretary’s recent call for an immediate pause in the fighting and would also welcome further representation to the Government of Israel about the way that it is exercising its right to self-defense and to affirm adherence to international law.”

With regard to the ICJ, the statement read:

We urge Israel to adhere to the ICJ order and to ensure that Palestinians have access to food, water, healthcare, and safety, that have long been denied to them.

In a statement on Tuesday, the House of Bishops—which is made up of more than 50 bishops including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said:

With the onset of Israel’s ground offensive into Rafah, we call for an immediate ceasefire. The relentless bombardment of Gaza and its huge cost in civilian lives and civilian infrastructure must stop. How this war is being prosecuted cannot be morally justified.

This war can’t result in the consolidation of a system of occupation that has for too long denied Palestinians their rights and freedoms.

– House of Bishops

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