The World Council of Churches Calls for an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza in Solidarity with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem after Attacks by Israel

The World Council of Churches - WCC calls for immediate ceasefire, urgent humanitarian aid for Gaza
More than 1.1 million Palestinians are struggling to flee from areas of north Gaza targeted by the Israeli military ahead of an expected land offensive a week after Hamas’s bloody attack into Israel. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem gravely concerned over Israeli shelling targeting of civilian infrastructure in Gaza
“The World Council of Churches (WCC) appeals once again urgently for an immediate cessation of this deadly violence, and for Hamas to cease their attacks. We urgently ask both parties for de-escalation of the situation,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. “We are deeply concerned about the conflict between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, and of the inevitably tragic consequences for the people of the region – Israelis and Palestinians alike – following a period of escalating tensions and violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
The World Council of Churches joined the statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem. The situation at the Gaza strip is unbearable without access to water, food, medical support, and electricity.
Pillay said in a statement: “We call upon the State of Israel with the support of the international community, to allow humanitarian support to enter Gaza so millions of innocent civilians, including many children, may receive medical treatment and basic supplies.”
Pillay called on respect for international law—including the Geneva Convention—international humanitarian law, and human rights to be respected and upheld to protect all civilians and for the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza.
Pillay concluded: “We call on all leaders to work for just peace in the Holy Land. Only justice will lead to peace, safety, and security for all.“
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is standing in solidarity with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which issued a statement on 31 October condemning the Israeli military’s bombardment of the Orthodox Cultural Center in the Tel Al Hawa neighborhood of Gaza.
In this statement, the Patriarchate emphasizes that this attack represents a stark embodiment of Israel’s unwarranted determination to destroy the civil infrastructure and social service centers, as well as shelters for civilians trapped in the besieged enclave. “The Patriarchate highlights that social, cultural, and sports centers have become vital providers of essential humanitarian services and safe havens for those affected by Israeli airstrikes targeting residential areas,” reads the statement. “The Patriarchate further expressed that this assault on the Orthodox Cultural Center and its service facilities constitutes a direct and unjustified attack on one of the pillars of culture and social services in Gaza.”
The Patriarchate also noted with grave concern that the Israeli military has targeted 19 places of worship, including mosques and churches in Gaza. “Such attacks on civilians, particularly children, and the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, cannot be justified on rational or humanitarian grounds and are fundamentally at odds with even the most basic moral values,” reads the statement. “The Patriarchate reiterates its firm demand for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and pledges to continue its international efforts to achieve this goal as soon as possible.”
WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay expressed solidarity with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. “Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are in clear violation of international law,” said Pillay. “We stand with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and many around the world who are calling to protect places of refuge, and to stop injuring and killing innocent people.”