The news this past week from Israel and Gaza has been devastating. The war between Israel and Hamas has killed thousands and displaced almost half a million people. It is a humanitarian disaster and there is untold suffering and need in Gaza and in Israel. Yesterday, at least 400 lives were lost in a missile strike at the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, including children, refugees, and medical personnel.
I have visited the Ahli Arab Hospital. It is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the only Christian hospital in Gaza, and the only place where people of all faiths could receive treatment regardless of income or ability to pay. Ahli Arab Hospital offered cancer treatments that residents of Gaza could not access anywhere else, and in general was a force for good and an embodiment of the Gospel in a community in tremendous need.
The bombing of the Ahli Arab Hospital is a devastating blow to the displaced people of Gaza. Both Palestinian and Israeli communities are suffering and there is grief, loss, fear, and pain in all communities in the region. At this time, I ask your prayers for all those afflicted by this terrible war, for an end to the violence, for healing for all who suffer, and for comfort and consolation for those who mourn. I invite you also to join me in supporting relief work through the efforts of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
I trust the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem to do good with any funds that are raised. The Episcopal Archbishop of Jerusalem has been a friend of mine and Clarke’s for many years, and the situation is truly devastating. The human need is overwhelming. Thank you for your prayers and support.
The Right Reverend Sally French
Bishop of New Jersey