Statement: JRS stands with all Palestinians and Israelis who want peace

20 October 2023|JRS International

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Let the weapons be silenced; let the cry for peace be heard from the poor, from people, from the children!
Pope Francis

JRS joins Pope Francis’s call to end the harrowing conflict in Israel and Palestine and to do everything possible to avoid an even greater catastrophe.

We stand with the peace movements and countless civilians in Israel and Palestine who urgently desire peace and justice arising from dialogue and acknowledgement of shared humanity. We are especially inspired by those who lost relatives to this violence and who are urging the warring parties not to use their grief to fuel revenge.

JRS mourns the victims of both sides together with their families and communities and appeals for the protection of civilians to be the first priority of all actors. There is a dire need for guaranteed humanitarian access to Gaza and safe havens for civilians.

JRS adds its voice to calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Attacks on civilian targets, including healthcare facilities, schools, places of worship, and homes, are war crimes under international humanitarian law.

This latest round in the relentless cycle of violence is exacerbating an unbearable situation in Gaza, where around 80% of the population was already dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. This reminds us of the need to address long-standing root causes of the conflict to ensure justice for all.

While JRS is not present in Palestine or Israel, we are greatly concerned about the consequences of this cycle of violence in neighbouring Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, where our teams continue to accompany and serve forcibly displaced people from the region and beyond, from countries including Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

Together we stand in solidarity with the victims of this violence and join their pleas for peace and respect for the humanity we share. We echo the words of one man whose parents were killed: “This is being used by those who feed on hate. But this cannot be the only option. My family does not seek revenge… We are being comforted by people from all walks of life… Please, stop the war.” (The Guardian)