Doctors on the scene and at receiving hospitals reported that most were killed or injured by gunfire, with some becoming victimized after being either trampled by panicked crowds or hit by aid trucks fleeing the horrific scene,” reads the statement. 

The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, in their statement, condemn this wanton attack against innocent civilians and call for the warring parties to reach an immediate and lengthy ceasefire that allows for the speedy disbursement of relief supplies…”

The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches also conveyed special prayers of support to the Christian communities in Gaza, including more than 800 people who have taken refuge in St Porphyrios and Holy Family churches in Gaza City for nearly five months. We likewise extend these same expressions of solidarity to the intrepid staff and volunteers of the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital, and to the patients they serve,” the statement reads. In issuing the above calls, our ultimate hope is that the end of hostilities, the release of captives, and the care of the downtrodden will open a horizon for serious diplomatic discussions that finally lead to a just and lasting peace here in the land where our Lord Jesus Christ first took up his cross on our behalf.”

Pillay strongly affirmed the critical importance of establishing a permanent ceasefire, and the role of religions in reaching a just and sustainable peace. We extend to you our compassion and prayers for ending the war, and for respect for human lives and rights,” he said. We urge an immediate ceasefire and the establishment of just peace, safety, and security in both Palestine and Israel.”

Read the statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem