As a five-hour temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel expired and fighting resumed today, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, added his voice to the many calling for an end to the violence.
Hiltz said that the Anglican Church of Canada’s position on the issue is in keeping with the recent statement from the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, which condemned both “the indiscriminate attacks by Israeli military on the civilian population in Gaza” and “the absurd and immoral firing of rockets by militants from Gaza to populated areas in Israel.”
The Associated Press reported that following the end of the temporary ceasefire, three Palestinian children were killed on their rooftop. More than 215 Palestinians have been reported killed during the conflict as well as one Israeli. The ceasefire did allow Gaza residents to briefly leave their homes to buy food and supplies.
Hiltz asked for prayers. “Pray for all who have died and all who mourn. Pray for all those injured and those who tend them in the most difficult of circumstances, the hospitals and clinics themselves under the continuing threat of bombing. Pray fervently for a ceasefire, for those living in absolute fear by day and by night.” The primate made a special reference to the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, which is owned and operated by The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The hospital has been damaged in the conflict and is running short of medicine, food and fuel. Bishop Suheil Dawani of the diocese issued an urgent appeal for help. Donations can be made through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
Hiltz also asked for prayers for “world leaders who offer counsel in negotiating a settlement to this current crisis and in securing a lasting peace for all Palestinians and Israelis. Pray as Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit has said, that together they may work “to transform the discourse of hatred and revenge…into one that sees the other as neighbour and as equal brother and sister in one God.”