Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton has expressed “mounting concern” over the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine.
Bishop Lang, chairman of the international affairs’ department of the bishops’ conference, said he prayed for the “dead and injured” on both sides and called upon leaders and communities to reject the “slippery road of tit-for-tat killings and mutual recrimination”.
The bishop said: “During my own visits to the Holy Land, I have witnessed the deep frustration felt by Palestinians at their situation where death is sometimes considered their only painful hope.
“However, I also appreciate that such despair cannot lead to unbridled violence from either side and that the Israeli authorities need to apply the rule of law.”
At least 30 people have died in a wave of stabbings and shootings over the past two weeks. Israel has deployed hundreds of soldiers and sealed off some Arab neighbourhoods in a crackdown on the violence.
Bishop Lang said: “I urge Israelis and Palestinians once more to rededicate themselves to undertaking the difficult but inevitable steps that would lead to a genuine peace based on true justice where both sides can live securely and peacefully in their own sovereign states.”