Anglican Church Condemns Israeli Closure of Gaza Hospital Amid Evacuation Orders

GAZA CITY, July 9 – The Anglican and Episcopal Church in Jerusalem voiced strong opposition to the forced closure of Al-Ahli Arab Anglican Hospital in Gaza. Israeli military orders to evacuate several residential districts triggered this shutdown.

The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem announced the hospital closure was “compelled by the Israeli army.” Sunday evening saw heavy drone fire near the hospital, escalating fears. This was followed by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) declaration, marking the area as a “red zone” and ordering immediate evacuation, including all hospital staff and patients.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby condemned the closure, stating it “puts injured and sick people in even greater danger.” Richard Sewell, Dean of St George’s College, Jerusalem, emphasized the necessity of medical care during warfare. “Our ministry in Gaza is a hospital. In a war, you need medical care for everyone,” he said.

The Israeli military responded, claiming it had advised civilians to relocate from specific Gaza City areas to minimize risk. They asserted there was no need to evacuate hospitals, as communicated to Palestinian health officials and the international community.

New evacuation orders in eastern Gaza City have displaced thousands more, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis. With limited options for medical treatment, the hospital’s closure forced the transfer of injured patients to another facility in northern Gaza.

“We protest the closure of our hospital in the strongest possible terms,” stated Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. “In times of warfare and great suffering, emergency healthcare services are essential to treat the injured and the dying.”

Archbishop Naoum called on Israel to reopen the hospital and halt civilian targeting. He urged all parties to reach an immediate ceasefire.

Israel maintains it does not intentionally target civilians.

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