Home Diocese of Jerusalem Heartbreak in Gaza

Heartbreak in Gaza

May, 2021

The disaster happening in Gaza and Israel is heartbreaking.

Our television screens are filled with images of rockets and bombs striking targets in both Gaza and southern Israel, and the growing violence across the region. The threat of a ground war appears very real.

For AOA and our supporters, this is especially troubling as our long-term partner, Ahli Arab Hospital, is based in Gaza City. Our program with the hospital works to improve the lives and health of local women with a focus on the screening, treatment and counselling related to breast cancer.

In response, AOA has released money from our Rapid Response Emergency Fund.

Concerned, we have been in contact with Mahmoud Elhendy, the Head of Development Programs at the hospital.

“The situation here is so difficult. Jets are shelling everywhere. We did not sleep last night. My children cannot sleep due to the continuous airstrikes and we have packed bags in case we need to evacuate quickly. Fire, destruction, fears, tears, crying, deaths everywhere.

The hospital staff are safe so far, although there some have had minor damage to their homes.

Please do pray for us. We really need your prayers.”

The bombings in both Israel and Gaza are happening in civilian areas. The healthcare system in Gaza has been overwhelmed by the pandemic, and many clinics and other hospitals closed during the pandemic and never reopened. Hospitals are already at full occupancy with COVID-19 patients. There are severe shortages of basic medical supplies, medicine and blood for transfusions. This escalating conflict pushes Gaza’s healthcare system way past breaking point.

Bombs have fallen near Ahli Arab Hospital and blew out some windows. But the hospital is open, trying desperately to serve its usual patients and cope with the arrival of bombing casualties. The hospital opened a new surgery ward on Wednesday to treat the wounded. The Most Reverend Hosam E. Naoum, Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, this week released a statement that I wanted to share with our AOA supporters.

“We know from sad experience that violence and hatred will never lead to solutions to the deep ethnic and religious divisions that have afflicted this region now for a century. We therefore call upon the authorities on both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict in order to end the rain of death and destruction that has had tragic consequences for thousands of individuals and families.

In the meantime, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is continuing its Christian mission of bringing healing to the wounded, relief to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones. Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza has been on the frontlines of these relief efforts, becoming a beacon of hope to those trying to remain alive under such dire circumstances.

But they are overwhelmed and in desperate need of upwards of 1.6 Million USD to obtain fuel for hospital generators, and to purchase emergency medicine and medical supplies so that the doctors and nurses who are working around the clock can meet the crushing flow of injured and traumatized victims in this conflict.

I therefore issue an appeal to our International Partners and all people of goodwill to support this humanitarian mission through their generous contributions to Al Ahli Hospital, enabling them to show forth the compassionate love of Christ in real and tangible ways in these desperate circumstances.

Last of all, I ask those within the Anglican Communion and all of Christendom to join with us in offering the following prayer:

Almighty and Everlasting God: Our days are in your hands; we lift up all those in the Holy Land who are victims of violence and injustice, that you might empower your Church to bring healing to the wounded, relief to the suffering, and comfort to those who mourn; we pray also that you would soften the hearts of all those involved in the recent conflicts, that they would be led to work for justice and lasting peace in the land where your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ first came to bring hope and abundant life to all people; these things we ask in his Holy Name. Amen.”

If you would like to support the Ahli Arab Hospital to respond to the overwhelming needs of the Palestinian people, please donate to our Rapid Response Emergency Fund (choose ’13. Rapid Response Emergency Fund’ from the drop-down menu).

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