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Irish Catholic Bishops call for urgent ceasefire in Gaza

Irish Catholic Bishops have called for an urgent and complete ceasefire in Gaza, and an immediate end to the daily horror of killing, wounding and destruction of property in the Holy Land.

At their Spring 2024 general meeting, they have joined others in demanding an immediate end to “the daily horror of killing, wounding and destruction of property and infrastructure”.

The Bishops have called on the Israeli government to comply with basic human and international standards in ensuring that Palestinians have full and unimpeded access to food, water and basic safety requirements.

They have also called on Hamas to release all hostages and to end missile attacks on Israel.

At the conference, they also condemned attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, which they said do not command as much attention in the public sphere.

The Bishops said that the current aggression is not a war between Jews and Arabs.

“..people of all faiths, including many of the Jewish tradition, oppose what is happening and the effect it is having not only on Israel and Palestine but throughout the wider Middle East and further afield”, they said.

“There is no future in the perpetuation of conflict and human suffering. This is especially so when one considers the intensity of what is happening in the Holy Land. The only future is one of dialogue and the putting in place of a sustainable plan for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis and that brings to an end the occupation that has for far too long denied Palestinians their rights and freedoms.”

While they welcomed international efforts to secure a ceasefire, they said that “all possible pressure” should be applied, to desist Israel from military operations that impact so horrendously on innocent civilians.

Equally, they have stated that any international support for Hamas terrorism is utterly unacceptable.

“The international community has failed to vindicate the right of the Palestinian people to a safe homeland, with statehood and freedom of movement, as part of a two-state solution which recognises both Israel and Palestine,” they said.

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