Christians condemn shocking Hamas attack on Israel

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Christians have joined in the condemnation of a major Hamas attack on Israel that has prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare, "We are at war."

Thousands of missiles rained down on Israel from the Gaza Strip in a surprise attack launched across land, sea and air in the early hours of Saturday morning, killing dozens and injuring over 700. 

Israel has retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza. Israeli officials said 161 people have been killed and nearly 1,000 injured.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a joint statement condemning the attacks and calling for restraint on both sides.

"We are grieved and deeply concerned at the violence in Israel and Gaza, and we unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas," they said. 

"We pray for those who are mourning, those who are injured, and all those fearing for their safety. 

"We pray for restraint on all sides, and renewed efforts towards a just peace for all. The way forward must be for both sides to build confidence in a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognised borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security, and with peace and justice." 

Rev Johnnie Moore said his organisation, the Congress of Christian Leaders, has issued an emergency call to prayer "for the peace and security of Israel".

"Churches all over the world will gather this weekend standing with Israel and dedicating time to pray for Israel," he said.

Philosopher and Anglican theologian Phillip Blond said on X, formerly Twitter, "Islamism once again deliberately massacring civilians - this time in Israel - where they are roaming the streets killing women and children with knives and guns - glorifying in their brutality as they torture, maim and kill. This is what we all must fight for it is manifest evil."

Rev Marcus Walker of Save the Parish, tweeted, "The atrocities unfolding in Israel are horrific. O prayer for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces."