THE Bishop of Worcester has described the violence at the Gaza border this week as “awful”, but remains hopeful a peace process could one day be successful in the region.

The Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr John Inge, spoke in the House of Lords on the violence in which 58 Palestinians were killed, and 2,700 were also injured earlier this week.

The violence erupted in a significant week.

Monday was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel and also the day the US made the controversial move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state and see the US Embassy move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city.

Tuesday was the day Palestinians call “Nakba,” or “day of catastrophe”, where they commemorate events in which more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the war which followed Israel's foundation.

In the House of Lords, Bishop John said things were worse than when he last visited four years ago.

“It’s infinitely worse now,” he told the Lords.

“What real substantial hope can be given to those who live in what is effectively a vast open prison?”

Speaking to the Worcester News, Bishop John said he went to Israel with a small group with Christian Aid, to visit the charity’s projects there.

Bishop John said: “It was pretty grim even then. People were without hope.”

The Bishop said the situation was worse now, describing this situation as “awful.”

He said: “There has been an escalation in violence, because the opening of the US Embassy had come at the same time as the anniversary.”

But the Bishop said despite the tensions, he still hoped one day a route to peace could be found.

“I describe myself as a Pro-Palestinian Zionist,” he said.

“I agree that Israel has a right to exist, but there has to be justice for the Palestinians too.

“I hope and pray that a way can be found forward (to a peace process). Never say never.

“The government statement (on the violence) was good, it was much more balanced than the US.”

Bishop John added he hoped to make another pilgrimage soon, where he hoped to speak to both Israelis and Palestinians.