Episcopal Relief & Development reaffirms support for Gaza hospital

Posted Aug 21, 2014

[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] Episcopal Relief & Development reaffirms its support for Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, as it responds to critical humanitarian needs during the current conflict.

The organization’s support has enabled Al-Ahli Hospital to procure fuel to run its generators, which are crucial during frequent and prolonged electricity outages, and to provide food parcels to community members in need, in addition to patients and staff.

“Since the beginning of the crisis, Al-Ahli Hospital staff have maintained an around-the-clock presence at the hospital, receiving wounded people and providing them with the critical medical care that they need,” stated the Diocese of Jerusalem’s August 15 situation report.

According to the same report, the hospital has received 3,300 emergency cases since the current crisis began in mid-July and is presently treating 30 severely injured people in in-patient care.  Al-Ahli receives on average 55 conflict-related burn cases per day, and an average of 150 new patients per day – mostly children ­– suffering from chest infections, diarrhea, rashes and scabies due to inadequate hygiene (overcrowding combined with lack of refuse collection) and shortages of water and food.

Temporary cease-fires provide time for hospital staff to assess needs and resources, and for ambulance workers and other rescuers to bring injured people to care centers.  Many of Gaza’s hospitals and clinics have sustained damage and others have been closed because of lack of staff and supplies or being in insecure locations.  Consequently, the remaining centers are working beyond capacity to meet urgent needs.

Looking ahead, Al-Ahli identifies providing psychosocial care for women and children as a top priority, in addition to ongoing medical care for burns and other injuries.  Shortages of fuel and medical supplies threaten to limit the hospital’s ability to respond to emerging needs.

As of August 20, according to UN OCHA, 1,999 Palestinians (including 1,417 civilians) and 67 Israelis (including three civilians) have died in the renewed violence.  The WHO reports that more than 10,000 Palestinians have been injured, and UNRWA states that 400,000 people are currently displaced.

“I urge all Episcopalians to continue to keep in their prayers those affected by conflict in the Holy Land,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development.  “Please also pray for all who are working steadfastly to relieve suffering and build peace – in the Palestinian Territories and Israel, and throughout the region in thesechallenging times.”

To enable Episcopal Relief & Development to continue its support of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s response to urgent needs, please contribute to the Middle East Fund.


Comments (3)


    When are Episcopalians going to wake up and stop supporting Muslim terrorists such as Hamas in Gaza. The U.S. government has named Hamas as a terrorist organization. Why not support the sole U.S ally in the region which is Israel?

  2. Erna Lund says:

    Simplistic Thinking when one allows a military government to proceed and label any resistant group as terrorists–yes, when there is colonial occupation of a land the residents have the right to resist–be it in Gaza, West Bank,Occupied Territories–when the Nazis occupied European countries,e.g. Norway … the resistance was not a terrorist group nor labeled as such, but civilian residents demanding basic human rights.

  3. Lawrence Johnson says:

    I agree with Mr. Thewalt.

    Hamas uses human shields to protect their missiles, creating more casualties. Hamas has killed hundreds of children by forcing them to dig their infamous tunnels. Hamas executes suspected collaborators, summarily without execution. Gazan schools teach school kids to kill
    Jews and other infidels for simply being Jewish. Hamas purposely targets schools and civilians with their missiles, while Israelis perform gymnastics to minimize civilian deaths. Hamas uses mosques as military launch pads. Hamas’s charter demands the total eradication of the Jewish state. Israeli hospitals treat all-comers , regardless of background, (even Muslim terrorists) whereas no Jews are allowed in the Gazan Hospital.
    Hamas and the Palestinian Authority celebrate homicide/suicide bombers whereas Israeli
    scients are at the forefront of medical advancement.
    While Hamas and its allies have coercively crushed the Gazan Christian community, Israel is the ONLY country in the ME where Christianity is growing. (For that matter, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has made life for Christians increasingly difficult and the numbers of Christians there is decreasing .)
    Israelis want peace, whereas Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood want the destruction of Jews and Christians. There is no moral equivalence here.
    Israel has every right to protect itself , supporting Hamas is absolutely wrong as it purposely engenders evil .
    It’s tragic that Gazan civilians are trapped by the Muslim terrorist mindset.

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