War in Gaza 'needs to end now', says Archbishop

Archbishop Justin with the Rev Fadi Diab.(Photo: Lambeth Palace)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called for an end to the war in Gaza after meeting with a Palestinian priest. 

The Archbishop met Rev Fadi Diab of St Andrew's Anglican Church in Ramallah, Palestine, on Friday. 

Welby called the war "cruel and horrific" and said that the arming of settlers in illegal settlements in the West Bank had "intensified violence and contributed to a level of death and destruction not seen since the Second Intifada."

During their meeting, the Archbishop heard how the war has "upended life in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and created untold misery and suffering to thousands of families".

"Countless" families have been pushed into poverty by roadblocks and the suspension of work permits, while the withholding of tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority has "pushed basic services and critical infrastructure to the edge of collapse", the Archbishop said. 

Welby called for an immediate end to the war and the release of all remaining Israeli hostages.

"This war and its killing needs to end and it needs to end now. All hostages need to be released. Immediate and unrestricted aid must be secured to address the famine-like conditions in Gaza," he said.

"I give thanks to the ministry of Father Fadi Diab at this critical time, and I pray that God will guide and watch over him, the wider Diocese of Jerusalem, and all Christian churches as they provide comfort and support to those most in need."