Anglican and United churches call for Gaza investigation

By on January 30, 2009

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Rev. David Giuliano, moderator of the United Church of Canada, have urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal government to call for an independent investigation into the Israeli bombing of the Shaja’ih Family Health-care Centre in Gaza City.

“We were deeply distressed to learn from the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza, that this church-run healthcare centre, which served approximately 10,000 families and has been co-funded by Canadians and the Canadian International Development Agency, was destroyed on Jan. 10 by missiles fired from the Israeli Defence Force,” the letter from Mr. Hiltz and Mr. Giuliano said. “Such action is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which both Israel and Canada are signatories. On behalf of church partners in Gaza and Canadian taxpayers who supported this clinic, we join others in calling for accountability.”

The church leaders noted that the health-care centre was an important ministry of the Christian community in Gaza: “It fulfilled a mandate of caring for the most vulnerable in society, especially children and women.” The letter said they also seek “assurance from the State of Israel, in occupying Gaza, of full compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law.”

The full text of the letter is available at http://www.anglican.ca/

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