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Justin Welby and Fr Fadi.jpg thumb.jpg banner.jpg
Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace
Justin Welby and Fr Fadi.jpg thumb.jpg
Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace
UK News

Justin Welby decries violence in Israel-Hamas war after meeting Palestinian priest

by Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishop of Canterbury has once again lamented the atrocities caused by the Israel-Hamas war.

Most Rev Justin Welby said in a statement: “This war and its killing needs to end and it needs to end now. All hostages need to be released. Immediate and unrestricted aid must be secured to address the famine-like conditions in Gaza”.

His comments came after meeting Rev Fadi Diab, an Anglican priest from St Andrew’s Ramallah in Palestine, on Friday.

Archbishop Justin said he listened to Rev Diab’s accounts of how the war has tragically impacted the lives of so many.

“In listening to him I heard again how the war in Gaza has upended life in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and created untold misery and suffering to thousands of families,” he said.

“Roadblocks, closures and the suspension of work permits have pushed countless families into poverty.  The withholding of tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority has pushed basic services and critical infrastructure to the edge of collapse.  The arming of settlers in the illegal settlements of the West Bank has intensified violence and contributed to a level of death and destruction not seen since the Second Intifada”.

Rev Diab also told Archbishop Justin about the “senseless” killing of 12-year-old Rami Hamdan Al Halhouli, a Palestinian boy who was murdered in the violence earlier this week.

“… [it] underlines all that is wrong with this cruel and horrific war,” Archbishop Justin said.

“A 12-year-old holding a firework is not a terrorist but simply an innocent child holding a firework. There is no justification for his death”.

Speaking after meeting, Rev Diab said: “I am grateful to the Archbishop for taking time to meet in person and for his sincerity and honesty of the conversation we had. It is clear that the Archbishop understands the continued and sustained challenges to the Christian community in the Holy Land.

“I was able to share with Archbishop Justin the importance of how the Anglican Christians in the Holy Land look to him for leadership and pastoral support”.

Brendan Metcalfe, CEO of Friends of the Holy Land, added: "Enabling Fr Fadi to meet with Archbishop Justin, one of our Patrons was a huge honour. We thank the Archbishop for his continued support and encouragement to our work. I would echo Fr Fadi that the Archbishop understands the challenges facing Christians in the land where Jesus walked. I would encourage Christians here in the UK as we approach Holy Week to take time to reflect on the suffering of the Christian community and consider supporting our work to bring relief to those most in need." 

On 8th March, Archbishop Justin renewed his call for an immediate ceasefire after meeting with Palestinian pastor Rev Munther Isaac who described the horror of Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza.

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