A message from Rev David Cameron, Convener of the Assembly Trustees on the Israel Gaza Conflict
Published on 8 October 2023
Church calls on members to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine
Rev David Cameron, Convener of the Assembly Trustees of the Church of Scotland, has issued a statement in response to the outbreak of violence in the Holy Land.
Mr Cameron said:
"We are horrified by the situation currently occurring in Israel and Gaza, and the wider areas. The sudden attack by Hamas on Israel, 50 years and a day after the Yom Kippur War, came at a time when many Israelis were celebrating the end of the festival of Succot.
"At this time, our prayers are for all of those affected by these horrendous events. They are with the families of those killed, both in Israel and in Gaza. They are with those who have been taken hostage. They are with those dealing with the decisions to be made in the days ahead. With two Mission Partners and 160 locally employed staff, our prayers are also with them and their families, and they are with all whom we know in both Israel and Gaza.
"There can be no peace without justice, and we all must do what we can to bring justice to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Gaza.
"The coming days are crucial as decisions are made which can either start the route to peace and justice, or lead to revenge and devastation, and much weeping and mourning. This war feels like a breaking point. There is a context to all the attacks which is important, but there is no justification for them.
"We urge all in our Church to unite in prayer for the people of Israel and Palestine. We condemn the attacks by Hamas, and the ongoing violence and killing. Our Church has long spoken out about the need for justice for all people in that land so that everyone can enjoy a future which is peaceable and just. No-one should live in fear of attack or kidnap; war and violence will only lead to more death and destruction.
"Alongside the voices of our partners in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, and with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, we agree that a just peace will bring, 'a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognised borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security, and with peace and justice.'
"Let us pray for that peace which will offer new opportunities for justice to prevail so that all the people in the region may live in peace."