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Update on the bombing in Gaza

Posted on: January 28, 2003 3:10 PM
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"Your prayers are very much appreciated and truly make a difference in these difficult times," said the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal, in the aftermath of the bombing of St Philip's Episcopal Church and Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on Friday 24 January.

In addition, he has offered his heartfelt appreciation for the many telephone calls, faxes and emails expressing support and solidarity and is also encouraging people to write letters to their congressmen, senators, members of parliament and other elected officials, denouncing this "barbaric attack" on the church and hospital.

The Revd Canon John L. Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, was in Korea at the time of the bombing and condemned the attack.

"Having been present with the Primates of the Anglican Communion when St Philip's Church was rededicated in Gaza by Bishop Kafity, I am appalled by the wanton destruction of St Philip's by the Israeli missile," he said. "Knowing the situation in Gaza and the enormous suffering of the Palestinian people, this is but another example of the tragedy which the people in Gaza experience every single day."

Canon Peterson was delighted at the immediate response of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Communion in Japan) as they pledged a generous donation towards rebuilding the church.

Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, was also present at the rededication six years ago and said that the Anglican Church throughout the world has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Gaza church and hospital. He said, "Israel has a moral duty to rebuild both the damaged church and hospital."

Bishop Riah concluded his statement by asking people to denounce all acts of violence and to join in our ever-vigilant prayers for peace and justice, for "all people of this troubled land."