Windows in Shejaiya, a neighborhood of Gaza City that was hard hit by the Israeli military during the 2014 war.


“The World Council of Churches (WCC) appeals once again urgently for an immediate cessation of this deadly violence, and for Hamas to cease their attacks. We urgently ask both parties for de-escalation of the situation,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. “We are deeply concerned about the conflict between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, and of the inevitably tragic consequences for the people of the region – Israelis and Palestinians alike – following a period of escalating tensions and violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

The World Council of Churches joined the statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem on 13 October, which urged immediate actions to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The situation at the Gaza strip is unbearable without access to water, food, medical support, and electricity.

Pillay said in a statement on Sunday: “We call upon the State of Israel with the support of the international community, to allow humanitarian support to enter Gaza so  millions of innocent civilians, including many children, may receive medical treatment and basic supplies.”

Pillay underlined the urgent need to act. “Moreover, we call on all parties to de-escalate this war in order to save innocent lives while serving the cause of justice.”

The Anglican Arab Ahli hospital in Gaza was hit Saturday evening by Israeli strikes. Two floors were partially damaged and four people were injured. 

Pillay called on respect for international law—including the Geneva Convention—international humanitarian law, and human rights to be respected and upheld to protect all civilians and for the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza. 

Pillay concluded: “We call on all leaders to work for just peace in the Holy Land. Only justice will lead to peace, safety, and security for all.“

WCC  invites all member churches and people of good will to join the call from  the Jerusalem Heads of Churches to observe a Day of Prayer and Fasting on 17 October.

WCC, Jerusalem Heads of Churches invite all to global prayer day (WCC news release 15 October 2023)

Jerusalem Heads of Churches urge addressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza (WCC news release 13 October 2023)

WCC calls for a new approach to conflict in Palestine and Israel (WCC news release 13 October 2023)

Statement: WCC calls for a new approach to the conflict in Palestine and Israel (13 October 2023)

Church leaders in Holy Land call for de-escalation, respect for human rights (WCC news release 9 October 2023)

Service of Lament for Palestine and Israel: “we solidly believe in the sanctity of life” (WCC news release 12 October 2023)

WCC urgently appeals for immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine (WCC news release 7 October 2023)