Aberdeen Christians have urged Tony Blair to redouble peace efforts in the Middle East after students at a West Bank Episcopal school were shelled by Israeli troops.
Scottish Episcopal worshippers decided to act after hearing a first hand account of the plight of pupils at the Episcopal school in Ramallah. The Most Revd Bruce Cameron, the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, has now written to Mr Blair, asking the PM to renew efforts to secure peace in Israel and Palestine.
Bishop Cameron wrote on behalf of the Synod of the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney - the diocese's central governing body made up of clergy and worshippers. He quoted a letter from Mrs Samira Nasser, headmistress of the Episcopal school which serves both Christian and Muslim students. Mrs Nasser said, "At one o'clock (this refers to the early morning of 18th February) I heard heavy shelling in an area very close to our apartment, to be followed by the sounds of ambulances. Little did I know that in the morning I would be handling a barrage of calls coming to the school, because the shelling I heard at night targeted the house of two of our students - Sima Khalil in grade seven, and Hanin Khalil, in grade nine."
In his letter, the Bishop added, "We all recognise and feel the horror of violence that is being perpetrated on both sides of this conflict, yet all the evidence suggests that greater causalities - many of them innocent - are experienced by the Palestinian people. Some of us have seen the evidence of the injustices from which they suffer and yearn for a greater spirit of justice and reconciliation on the part of the present Israeli Government.
"It is in that context that the Synod is urging you and your Government colleagues to re-double your efforts to seek peace with justice in the land we call 'Holy'."
Bishop Cameron last visited the school, which is supported by the Scottish Episcopal Church, in October. He toured other West Bank schools, churches and hospitals and met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The Scottish Episcopal Church has had a long involvement with the Middle East - expressed through financial support, prayer and pilgrimage.
The Bishop of Brechin, the Rt Revd Neville Chamberlain, resigned from the Labour party in December as a protest against the Government's failure to condemn Israel's attacks on Palestinians.
Article from: The Scottish Episcopal Church