Largest Presbyterian denomination in U.S. demands Obama push for Israeli-Hamas ceasefire

clashesBy Michael Gryboski

The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.

“The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable,”  reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly .“Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations.”

The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders “urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East.”

“Likewise, we urge U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, working in collaboration with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to take all necessary steps to facilitate both an immediate ceasefire and resumed peace negotiations,” continued the statement.

The statement was signed by the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly; Ruling Elder Heath K. Rada, moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014); and Ruling Elder Linda Bryant Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.