Escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza

Members of NCPO have written the following to the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverley MP. There have been more than 700 additional signatures. | Download PDF of the letter |

We would also encourage you to write to your own MP along similar lines and you can find contact details for your MP here.

Many NCPO members (listed left) have already released prayers of concern and other related messages, and those with international links are exploring ways to offer solidarity and support. Please do check back with them for updates in the coming days and visit our Facebook page, which we use to share news of this sort.

Network of Christian Peace Organisations and
Other signatories
℅ Fellowship of Reconciliation
Peace House
19 Paradise Street

The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
United Kingdom

October 2023

Dear Foreign Secretary,

We write to you in response to the outbreak of violence in Israel and Palestine. We urge the UK Government to use its influence to help create space for de-escalation and meaningful dialogue in the coming days and weeks, to urgently avert a deepening humanitarian crisis and military conflict that could cost many more lives than have already been tragically lost.   

Indiscriminate attacks on civilians violate international humanitarian law. We condemn the Hamas attacks on civilians and the taking of civilian hostages.  We also condemn the response of the Israeli Government in bombing of Gaza and targeting of the civilian population. The increased restrictions and complete cutting off of water, electricity, food and fuel constitute collective punishment and will create an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza, exceeding that which already exists as a result of the 16-year blockade.    

We are deeply saddened by the continued violence in the region and urge you work for dialogue and de-escalation. We ask you to support measures for the immediate protection of civilians including a ceasefire, adherence by all parties to international law, and the UN’s call for humanitarian corridors.

Long held concerns about land, peace and security have not been prioritised by the international community. The only way to break the cycle of violence and build a lasting peace is to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza and create conditions of justice, equality and peace for all Israelis and Palestinians.  

As people of faith, we stand against the Islamophobia and antisemitism many individuals in this country may face as a result of violence in the Middle East. We will do what we can to de-escalate these tensions. 

We ask you to avoid supporting polarised arguments and apportioning blame. We ask you to support measures that do not rely on military security but instead build a lasting peace based on justice and equality for all.  

Yours Sincerely

Ann Farr, Chair, Pax Christi England and Wales

Sue Claydon, Chair, Anglican Pacifist Fellowship

Rev Dr Barbara Glasson, President Methodist Peace Fellowship

Deacon Angie Allport, Secretary, Methodist Peace Fellowship

John Cooper, Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Simon Barrow, Director of Ekklesia

Oliver Robertson, Head of Witness and Worship, Quakers in Britain

Philip Austin, Coordinator, Northern Friends Peace Board

Andrew Fox,  British Isles Mission Centre President, Community of Christ

Charlotte Marshall, Director, Sabeel-Kairos UK 

Lydia Funck, General Secretary, Church and Peace – Ecumenical peace church network in Europe

Andrew Jackson, Chief Executive, Pax Christi

Rev Ruth Harvey, Leader, The Iona Community

Rhun Dafydd Chair of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales) Wales

Martin Tiller, Co-Chair of Christian CND

Jan Benvie Convenor of Creation, Justice, Peace Steering Group, Third Order Society St Francis

We have also provided links to other statements from groups connected with NCPO or related faith bodies HERE

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