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Churches condemn Jenin attacks  

07 July 2023

Archbishop Naoum calls for ceasefire and end to occupation


A Palestinian confronts Israeli military vehicles with the Palestinian and Syrian flags to prevent their crossing into the centre of the Jenin refugee camp. Palestinian health officials said that at least ten Palestinians had been killed in Israeli raids and airstrikes

A Palestinian confronts Israeli military vehicles with the Palestinian and Syrian flags to prevent their crossing into the centre of the Jenin refugee...

ANGLICAN, Orthodox, and Catholic churches in Jerusalem, together with the World Council of Churches (WCC), have condemned the attacks by Israeli forces on Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, this week.

In a statement published on Facebook on Tuesday, the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East and Archbishop in Jerusalem, Dr Hosam Naoum, wrote: “The brutal attacks of the IDF continue against the Palestinian People. These attacks have no positive outcome, rather they deepen hate, violence and racism.”

“We strongly condemn these attacks and call for a ceasefire and the end of the occupation. We pray for peace, justice, and reconciliation between all people.”

The Guardian reported that 12 Palestinians were killed in the attacks, at least five of whom were fighters, and that the IDF had announced that one Israeli soldier had been killed in the fighting.

The military operation began in the early hours of Monday. Aerial and ground forces attacked targets in Jenin, a city that contains a large refugee camp.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that it had evacuated about 3000 people from the camp during the fighting.

On Wednesday morning, local media quoted a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Daniel Hagari, who said that all troops had left Jenin after the “completion” of what the IDF described as a “counter-terrorism effort”.

In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the attacks as an “ongoing onslaught”, and called for the “international community to immediately intervene”.

The WCC’s general secretary, the Revd Professor Jerry Pillay, condemned the assault in a statement on Wednesday morning, and called for “the cessation of all violence in the West Bank including that from Israeli settlers.

“The WCC also calls upon the international humanitarian organizations to help rebuild people’s lives with peace and dignity in Jenin Refugee Camp.”

On Tuesday morning, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem appealed to “the international community and the forces concerned with the cause of peace in the Holy Land, asking them to work to stop the attack on the city of Jenin and its camp, and to put an end to violence and bloodshed based on the values of peace and justice proclaimed by the Abrahamic religions”.

Also on Tuesday, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said that Jenin had been “subject to unprecedented Israeli aggression”.

“We condemn this violence, demand a ceasefire, and hope for the pursuit of peace and dialogue to prevent other future unjustified attacks on the population,” he wrote.

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