The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
The Patriarch Emeritus of the Latin Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said that the violent conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas in Gaza is a "useless massacre" that will not bring peace, and insisted that Israel must recognize the sovereignty of the Palestinian territory if the cycle of violence is ever to end.
"What is happening in Gaza is not a war, but rather a massacre," Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, told Fides News Agency on Tuesday. "A useless massacre, which will not advance even one step Israel towards peace and security. On the contrary, with all these human sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians are full of new hatred."
He added: "The only way out of the spiral of violence and destruction is to address the underlying issue, which is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. There will be peace and security only when Israel will recognize the freedom and sovereignty of the Palestinian state." more >>
An ancient Palestinian church has become a sanctuary for dozens of Muslims fleeing violence in the Gaza strip.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius, whose origins date back to the 12th-century, is currently home to roughly 1,000 Palestinians hoping to get out of harm's way as Israeli forces continue to strike the region
According to Reuters, the church has been attacked by IDF aircraft and shortly after the initial Palestinian families trickled in, "Israeli aircraft bombed a nearby field, spraying shrapnel on the church and damaging graves." more >>
A pro-Israel conference held in Washington, D.C. on Monday was repeatedly interrupted by heckling activists who dressed as Bibles and held signs that read "who would Jesus bomb?"
Members of the anti-war activist group Code Pink used Twitter to announce their intention to heckle the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit event, held at the convention center in Washington D.C, on Monday. The activist group encouraged fellow protesters to wear a "Bible" costume and tout signs that questioned "who would Jesus bomb?"
During Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer's speech on Monday evening, members of Code Pink reportedly began to heckle the diplomat, interrupting his speech to shout their support for Palestinians and the Gaza Strip, and to characterize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "war criminal." more >>
Christian leaders in Gaza and Israel are urging a ceasefire between the militaries of Israel and Hamas, explaining the situation on the ground from their perspective but rejecting the habit of laying blame on one side for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Dr. Munir S. Kakish, Chairman Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Monday that "one piece of information often not known is that there are Christians in Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank. There have been Christian Arabs here since the time of Jesus," he pointed out.
Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a violent conflict stretching over two-weeks now, with rockets being fired from both sides. Palestinian casualties have reached over 500, with thousands more injured, after the Israel government ordered a ground invasion into Gaza, targeting terrorist tunnels and other sites it said are a direct threat to the Israeli people. more >>
When Secretary of State Kerry criticized Israel's military operations in Gaza by calling them a "hell of a pinpoint operation," he not only validated Hamas's human-shield strategy, he handed Hamas a key propaganda victory.
And he had no excuse for doing so.
Unlike the vast majority of Americans - including a vast majority of Americans in "public service" - Secretary Kerry has actual combat experience. He's fully aware of the enormous destructive capability of a modern military, and he's thus fully aware of what a truly unrestrained Israeli military operation would look like. Further, as a senior leader in the Obama administration, he's aware - or should be aware - of our own rules of engagement and conduct in urban operations in Fallujah, Tal Afar, Najaf, and other recent urban fights. If he is aware, he'd know that the Israelis often take even greater precautions than our own military does to prevent civilian casualties. more >>