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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Response to Middle East violence

Thursday 29th January 2004

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is on a six-day pastoral visit to the Middle East, has strongly condemned the latest upsurge in violence involving Israelis and Palestinians.

The Archbishop said: "I deplore the loss of yet more lives from communities in which far too much blood has already been spilt. My visit has strengthened the belief that violence and terrorism lend nothing to the search for a better future for the peoples of this region—something for which we continue to work and pray."

Dr Williams, who has been holding talks with both Israeli and Palestinian politicians as well as with religious leaders, called again for a new vision of the future to take root and recalled words from a sermon he preached in Jerusalem on Tuesday: "If two neighbour communities can begin to become truly civil societies in which law and human dignity are taken absolutely seriously, there is the chance of growth towards a human fellowship in which the presence of God can become visible."

The Archbishop was speaking hours after a suicide bomb attack in West Jerusalem in which at least ten people are believed to have been killed and many more injured. This attack followed clashes In the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in which at least eight Palestinians died.

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