Bishop finds hope amidst Gaza suffering

By Tim Clarke Wednesday 30 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 15:52

Latest News

Buy photos » The crumpled remains of a former police station in Gaza which was flattened by a bomb in November. (s)

THE BISHOP OF Worcester has spoken of his great sadness at witnessing the suffering of people in Gaza caught up in the conflict which continues to plague the region.

The Right Reverend Dr John Inge has just returned from a seven day trip to the West Bank and Gaza to see the difference projects run by Christian Aid and its partners are making to the lives of those trapped at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

And it was his visit to Gaza which had the biggest impact on Bishop John as he came face-to-face with the devastation caused by clashes between the ruling Hamas and neighbouring Israel.

An Israeli blockade of the area has also increased the suffering of people in Gaza - a place Bishop John described as a vast and miserable prison for its 1.6million inhabitants.

But amidst the misery he also discovered stories of hope as Christian Aid and its partners work together to try and support the communities who live among buildings ravaged by rocket-fire and bombings.

"I found it depressing and deeply affecting to see how there is an attitude among most people of resignation towards the horrible situation they face," he told the Standard.

"But at the same time there is an extraordinary human spirit that rises above that from incredible individuals that are doing amazing work and refuse to allow their spirit to be squashed."

Among the projects he visited was a health clinic set up by the Near East Council of Churches where Christians offer care to the overwhelmingly Muslim population.

He was also introduced to another Christian Aid partner which has been offering trauma counselling to children affected by bombing and shelling.

"The work they are doing is inspirational," Bishop John said.

"What was so heart-rending was seeing the pictures children had drawn showing the contrast between Gaza as they see it now compared with life as they want it to be, with peace and harmony."

Bishop John said the trip had not left him feeling optimistic about a peace settlement but he urged the international community to continue to press the Israeli government to engage in negotiations.

"I'm a supporter of Israel but I am also a supporter of the Palestinians and my fear is that unless the Israeli government changes tack and seriously enters into negotiations to form a two state solution the future will be bleak for Israel as well as the Palestinians," he said.

"The clock is ticking for a just settlement to be found but I am not convinced they will find it themselves - they need the international community to support them."

Latest News

Buy photos» A child's drawing shows the stark contrast between the devastating reality of life in Gaza and their hopes for a brighter and peaceful future. (s)

Latest News

Buy photos» This chicken farm was destroyed by a bomb. (s)

Latest News

Buy photos» Bishop John (back, right) visits a project working with children in the war-torn region. (s)

Share This

Popular »

1 Patient challenges hospital over complaints policy

2 Former soldier is new Lord Lieutenant

3 City taxi chiefs say enough is enough

4 Speed cameras will stay switched on

5 Visitors told to stay away from hospital

More news »

Woman sexually assaulted in park

A WOMAN in her 20s was sexually assaulted

Drivers targeted by fake gold fraudsters

DRIVERS have been warned not to buy fake

This week's letters to the editor

Re: Smokers offered incentives to kick habit (The

LEADER'S COLUMN - Simon Geraghty

AT WORCESTER City Council thoughts are firmly focused

Regional news »


Stratford Observer
School children coach evacuated on M40

SCHOOLCHILDREN were safely evacuated after smoke started to fill their ...

Bromsgrove Standard
Bromsgrove bobbies handed award for disarming gunman

TWO Bromsgrove Police officers have been awarded for their bravery ...

Redditch Standard
Cash stolen from elderly man at ATM

AN ELDERLY man had £200 stolen from him in broad ...

Evesham Observer
School floored by donation

PUPILS and teachers at the Vale of Evesham School are ...