The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has issued a statement of commitment to a cease-fire and release of hostages in Gaza. “This week marks five months since the attack of Hamas on Israel and the beginning of Israel’s military operations in Gaza,” the statement read, in part. “Since Oct. 7 there has been catastrophic loss of life. Many more have been injured, infrastructure has been destroyed, and there has been forced displacement of civilians on a massive scale. Negotiations for a cease-fire, access for humanitarian aid and the release of Hamas-held hostages have yielded neither a short-term nor a long-term solution.”

The statement continued: “The humanitarian situation in Gaza has rapidly deteriorated since the onset of the war. There are now devastating reports of children dying due to starvation and dehydration. There is also an increasing risk of disease spreading, compounded by the impact of the war on medical supplies and hospitals.

“It is vital that the ongoing negotiations lead to an agreement that ensures the release of all hostages and a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid to the affected civilian population. A robust agreement that can pave the way for peace and security is urgently required. This will take genuine leadership and an unwavering commitment from the warring parties and the international community to resolve the current conflict.

“The LWF is also deeply concerned that the war in Gaza has led to increased polarization across the world, rekindling sentiments that are hostile and hateful to the Jewish and Palestinian people, leading to instances of violence against individuals and communities.

“The LWF prays for all the people affected by the war and violence and reaffirms its commitment to Christian presence and witness in the Holy Land.

“The LWF stands in solidarity with its member church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the staff of the LWF Jerusalem Program, and the people they serve as they struggle in these difficult times.”

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