For Immediate Release: October 12, 2023
CWS Mourns Lives Lost in Horrific Attacks in Israel and Palestine, Calls for End to Violence and Protection of Vulnerable Families
Washington, DC – Following horrific attacks by Hamas this weekend, resulting in the murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians and the escalation of counter attacks by the State of Israel killing hundreds more civilians in Gaza and further threatening extremely vulnerable communities, CWS President and CEO Rick Santos issued the following statement:
“We are heartbroken and appalled by the horrific violence that has consumed Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in recent days. We unequivocally condemn the heinous massacre orchestrated by Hamas militants. We also condemn the State of Israel’s attacks that have put the civilians in Gaza, half of them children, directly in harm’s way. There is no place in our world for terrorism and violence against children and civilians. We mourn for those lost or injured, and pray for the safe return of those taken hostage.
“All families and children deserve to live in safety. We call upon the warring parties to cease hostilities, refrain from further escalations, and safeguard civilian lives and civilian infrastructure. Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – wherever they occur – represent clear violations of international humanitarian law and unconscionable affronts to human decency.
“Given the particular vulnerability of Gaza’s population, we urge that humanitarian access be established to help prevent further human suffering among its 2.2 million inhabitants, half of whom are children. Towards this end, we call upon the United States government and other concerned states to de-escalate tensions and expand humanitarian efforts to save lives and reduce suffering in the region.
“In concert with our sister agencies at Churches for Middle East Peace, we continue to pray for and work towards the end of the occupation and a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, with security and human rights protected for all.”