Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has added his voice to those calling for an immediate end to hostilities in Gaza.
"Watching the news, I could not help but join in the tears of Jesus, who wept over the land of his birth, and prayed for peace to reign," the Archbishop of Cape Town said.
"Christmas reminds us that God took human form in Jesus Christ, vividly demonstrating the sanctity of all human life. This is not negotiable, and must be respected by all sides through an immediate end to violence.
"My prayer is that the tragic events of recent days will spur everyone in the region, and in the international community, to intensify efforts towards establishing a just and lasting peace in the land of our Saviour's birth."
He added, "Christians who believe that Jesus came to be 'Prince of Peace', and all people of good will, must work and pray for true peace to come not only to Gaza and Israel, but to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Somalia, and to everywhere where there is conflict."