22 February 2024, The Tablet

Christian agencies condemn House of Commons Gaza chaos

“History will judge us all for what we did in the face of the slaughter and brutality in Gaza.”

Christian agencies condemn House of Commons Gaza chaos

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike on residential buildings and a mosque in Rafah, Gaza earlier today.
AP Photo/Hatem Ali/Alamy

Catholic campaigners were among Christian agencies that welcomed the call in Parliament last night for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 

In the House of Commons, which is this morning debating the withdrawal of funding from the Interfaith Network, nearly 60 MPs have so far signed an early day motion of no confidence in speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle after the heated six-hour debate on Gaza. He is under fire after he allowed the vote on a Labour amendment to an SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire. 

ACN (UK) national director Caroline Hull said: “We are deeply shaken by the desperate situation of Christians and everyone else in the Holy Land – including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – who have lost their livelihoods and are in extreme physical and emotional distress because of the ongoing conflict. At Aid to the Church in Need, we are focusing on prayer and the provision of pastoral help to alleviate the suffering of Christians and religious minorities wherever they are in most need. We join our prayers with those of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, for peace in the Holy Land.”

Christian Aid’s head of UK advocacy and campaigns, Jennifer Larbie, said: “What we witnessed in the House of Commons this evening was complete chaos. Every minute spent pontificating on points of order, Palestinians were being killed.

“Our colleague Nour, a lawyer with our partner organisation was killed in an air strike in Rafah yesterday along with seven members of her family including her two-year-old daughter.

“History will judge us all for what we did in the face of the slaughter and brutality in Gaza. 

“Ultimately the suffering won’t end until we have an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

Cafod representative for the Middle East, Elizabeth Funnell, said: “One of Cafod’s partner staff in Gaza told me that her seven-year-old daughter is asking to wear her fancy dress every day currently because if she must die, she wants to be wearing her favourite dress. That is the reality of the horror that the children of Gaza are facing.

“We are pleased that parliament this evening passed the motion calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, because an immediate and permanent ceasefire is the only way to ensure the release of all hostages, to make sure the huge amount of humanitarian aid that is needed can make its way into Gaza, and to protect all civilians. As Pope Francis tells us, arms alone will never achieve the peace that Israelis and Palestinians deserve.

“At a time when tens of thousands of children have already been killed, we need our political leaders to step up and show real leadership and support a lasting peace.”


As the brutal war enters its third year, the people of Ukraine are suffering Europe’s largest displacement crisis since the Second World War. Read Hope amid the ruins, our lead feature in The Tablet this week.


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