As Israel launched its ground offensive in Gaza, religious groups continued to raise concerns and special prayers about the crisis. Some people of faith protested Israel’s campaign in Gaza, highlighting the large numbers of civilians who have been killed. Jewish groups and some Christians rallied in solidarity with Israel.
Several US Jewish leaders expressed concern about what they see as an anti-Semitic tone in many anti-Israel protests. Meanwhile, some Jews and Muslims joined together in a day-long fast for peace. At the Vatican, Pope Francis led tens of thousands in prayer for an end to the violence. He also personally called Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging a ceasefire.