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World News

Justin Welby condemns ‘abhorrent’ Hamas attacks

by Heather Preston

The Archbishop of Canterbury has condemned the "utterly abhorrent" attacks against Israel from the militant group Hamas.

In a letter to British Jews, the Most Rev Justin Welby expressed his "deepest sense of solidarity... friendship and prayers" following the attacks that have lead to further violence in Israel and Gaza.

Addressing the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Welby wrote of his "intense horror and dismay" at the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

He wrote: "I'm aware that you are in Israel at the moment and thought this would be an appropriate moment to write expressing my sympathies and concerns for British Jews, who I know will all have friends and family directly impacted by recent events.

"The attacks by Hamas are utterly abhorrent, and to witness the unfolding of such violence, particularly against innocent civilians, children, and the elderly, strikes at the heart of all that is good and holy.

"I want to convey my deepest sense of solidarity with you at this time."

His Majesty King Charles iii has also condemned what he calls the "barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel" and says his thoughts and prayers are with all those caught up in the violence.

More than a thousand people have died on each side of the conflict since the weekend's onslaught and Israel's retaliation in Gaza.

Electricity has been lost in the sealed-off Palestinian territory after the sole power plant was starved of fuel. Airstrikes there have reduced city blocks to rubble.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the opposition leader are forming an emergency government to oversee the fight against Hamas militants. The wartime Cabinet will consist of Mr Netanyahu, Benny Gantz - a senior opposition figure and former defence minister - and current defence minister Yoav Gallant.


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