Cape Town, 21 May, 2021 / 8:13 pm (ACI Africa).
The Archbishop of South Africa’s Cape Town Archdiocese has expressed solidarity with the people of God in the Middle Eastern nations of Israel and Palestine following days of violence that saw hundreds killed, thousands displaced, and property destroyed.
In a Thursday, May 20 statement shared with ACI Africa hours before a ceasefire was announced, Archbishop Stephen Brislin says, “The intensity of the violence and the rhetoric lays bare a raw hatred which has shocked us.”
“Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the violence, those who have been displaced, injured, killed, those who live in terror or who have lost loved ones,” Archbishop Brislin says.
“Most especially, we hold in our hearts and prayers our acquaintances and those we regard as friends in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel who, in our past visits, have welcomed us and opened their doors to us,” he says, making reference to his Holy Land Coordination membership, a group of Bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America who visit Israel and Palestine annually.
The Israeli cabinet voted to a ceasefire, ending the violence that started when Hamas, a Palestinian military group that controls the self-governing territory of Gaza Strip, reportedly fired rockets towards Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, forcing the Israeli Defence Forces to retaliate by launching missiles on the Gaza Strip.