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Israel must protect Gaza hospital

The Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have spoken out against the Israel Defence Forces' closure of the Anglican Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
• Archbishop Hosam Naoum's statement from the Diocese of Jerusalem
• Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out after Gaza hospital closed
• Anglican Missions and TEARFund's letter to NZ Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters

Taonga News  |  10 Jul 2024  |

Anglican Archbishops’ statement on the forced closure of the Anglican Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza 

9 July 2024 

Kua whakaaturia e ia ki a koe, e te tangata, te mea pai; a he aha ta Ihowa e rapu nei ki a koe, heoi ano ko te whakawa tika, ko te pai ki te tohu tangata, ko te whakaiti me te haere tahi i tou Atua.

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

We, the Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia protest in the strongest possible terms the Israel Defence Forces’ closure of the Anglican Al Ahli hospital in Gaza. This action has disabled vital medical services and driven out vulnerable patients, medical staff and refugee families into the active war zone beyond the hospital gates. 

We stand in solidarity with our brother Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Primate of the Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, who has shared with us that the Al Ahli hospital was forcibly closed by Israeli military personnel after intense fire from drones and one of its ambulances has suffered a direct attack while transporting patients. 

These actions represent a serious failure to protect civilians and medical personnel at a critical time when few medical facilities in Gaza can serve people with serious illnesses. 

We stand united to advocate for peace and justice in the Holy Land and to echo the three calls made by Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem Hosam Naoum:

1. We call on the Israel Defence Forces to immediately reinstate access to the Al Ahli Arab hospital, which serves as an essential lifeline to innocent people caught in the conflict. 

2. We call for an end to targeting of civilians and of facilities pursuing peaceful civilian service.

3.  We call on the Governments of Aotearoa New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa to use their diplomatic powers to amplify demands for all parties in the Holy Land crisis to agree to an immediate ceasefire. 

In addition, we call on our people across the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to pray for peace and justice in the Holy Land, and to be generous in their support of any who suffer harm as a result of this conflict.

Signed:

Archbishop Don Tamihere                 Archbishop Sione Ulu’ilakepa
(Bishop of Aotearoa)                        (Bishop of Polynesia)

 

Archbishop Justin Duckworth
(Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses)

 

Notes

For thirty years, Anglican Missions has led churches, schools and families in Aotearoa New Zealand and across our Pacific nations to regularly raise funds for Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s life saving medical treatments in Gaza, particularly its maternity and child health services.

Since October 11, 2023  churches, schools and youth groups across Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia have undertaken additional emergency fundraising for Al Ahli Hospital to procure medical supplies, food and medical equipment and keep up essential healthcare for people with serious illnesses living in the Northern Gaza war zone.

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