ASIA/HOLY LAND - Stop any form of revenge

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 middle east   local churches   wars   jerusalem   franciscan  

by Father Ibrahim Faltas ofm*

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Land has been at war for almost seven months. I use the verb to live, even though war means death, suffering and destruction. It is a way of life, or rather an obligation to live the evil of war that no one can get used to.
We count more than 120 thousand dead and wounded in Gaza. About two million people "experience" the suffering of lack of everything. These are people who will “experience” the famine, the lack of care, the lack of dignity in 2024.
The night between Saturday and Sunday was also a night of fear and despair for the Holy Land. It was an attack that was unfortunately expected and once again brought the sounds and lights of violence to the Holy Land. Every people has the right to live in security, and in this constant game of violence and power, it is the most defenseless who suffer the tragic consequences of war.
On the night between Saturday and Sunday, who could have had the strength to hope? Fear and despair do not let you sleep, they cast their shadows over the future. Children in particular are frightened and do not understand the absurd and reckless game played by adults. Yesterday, after the Sunday Regina Caeli prayer on 14 April, Pope Francis called with a sorrowful but resolute voice for an end to the war and for a two-state solution that would give both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, the right to a safe and a dignified life. I'm trying to understand the reasons of both sides. I don't always succeed. I cannot justify the continued use of violence and hatred that destroys the lives of innocent people. The conflict is expanding, it is taking on more and more destructive features, and means and instruments of death are being used with ever more advanced technology. For years, the international community has turned a deaf ear to the need and possibility of ending hostilities in this tormented Middle East. The decisions taken were not implemented and their implementation was not checked. Over the years there have been meetings, agreements and negotiations. Pope Francis has taken every possible step to urge the parties to meet and build peace. Together with him, the children, the innocent and the defenseless ask for peace and call on the irresponsible adults to stop, because the violence of the war has already spread to several fronts. Stopping now means stopping every form of revenge, every destructive action that primarily affects those who are not to blame. Let us join Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire and set about defining and implementing the two-state solution. Let's pray together. May the Lord hear the prayer for peace of Pope Francis, the children and those who are credible witnesses of peace. Let us ask, let us plead, let us cry out in search of peace, without growing weary and without becoming accustomed to the evils of war. (Agenzia Fides, 16/4/2024)
*Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land