UCC leaders condemn deadly violence in Israel
Three deadly attacks on citizens in Israel this week have prompted a concerned response from leaders in the United Church of Christ’s Wider Church Ministries, condemning the violence.
On March 29, five people were shot and killed by a Palestinian gunman near Tel Aviv. The incident happened the day after the historic Negev summit, which brought the U.S. secretary of state and foreign ministers from four Arab countries and Israel together for the first time.
In the two other attacks, six people died. On March 22, four people were killed in a stabbing and ramming attack in the southern city of Be’er Sheva. On March 27, two shooters killed two people in Hadera, about 31 miles north of Tel Aviv.
The United Church of Christ released this statement on Thursday, March 31:
We watch with deep concern the events of the last week in Israel/Palestine. We lament the loss of life that has already been experienced, and fervently pray that there will be no more death or injuries sustained. We deplore these – and any – acts of violence. We affirm life and the value of every person.
We condemn the murder of the 11 Israelis in the last week, claimed by the Islamic State, and hope for the day when such attacks cease.
We are also concerned about the heightened security measures Israel has announced it will put in place, which has already led to the deaths of two Palestinians.
As Jews prepare for Passover, Christians for Holy Week and Easter, and Muslims for Ramadan, we pray that the holy days are honored in peace with justice for all people.
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