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Holy Land commission: Israel–Hamas war does not meet just-war criteria

July 04, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: The Justice and Peace Commission of the Holy Land, which is associated with the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, said that “neither the attacks by Hamas on October 7 nor Israel’s devastating war in response satisfy the criteria for ‘just war’ according to Catholic doctrine.”

Just war theory “is increasingly being weaponized to justify the ongoing violence in Gaza,” the commission stated. “Just wars must clearly differentiate between civilians and combatants, a principle that has been ignored in this war by both sides with tragic results.”

“Just wars must also employ a proportionate use of force, which cannot easily be said of a war in which the Palestinian death toll is tens of thousands of people higher than that of Israel, and one in which a clear majority of the Palestinian casualties have been women and children,” the commission added.

“We cannot allow words like ‘just’ to be mobilized to justify what is unjust, cruel and devastating,” the commission continued. “The time has come to end this conflict, to prevent its spread, threatening a world war, and to mobilize a language that opens new horizons.”

The Israeli embassy to the Holy See strongly criticized the statement.

“It should be lamented that a group of people from the Catholic Church has decided to issue a document, that using religious pretext and linguistic stunts, does nothing else than de facto objecting [to] Israel’s right to defend itself from its enemies’ declared intentions to put an end to its existence,” the embassy tweeted.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.

 


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