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Signs of Hope in the Holy Lands as Christmas Approaches

The al Ahli Anglican Hospital was the last hospital to cease functioning in Northern Gaza, and now it has become the first to reopen.

Al Ahli banner

After closing two weeks ago amidst heavy bombardment, al-Ahli Anglican Hospital is once again open to serve the hundreds of wounded still remaining in Gaza City.

Thanks to the ceasefire, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been able to oversee a delivery to the hospital, which, despite the ending of the ceasefire, remains the only functional medical centre in the northern part of Gaza.

Among the items delivered were fuel for the generators, anaesthesia, ICU supplies, emergency drugs, and IV fluids.

The WHO reported that the hospital is filled with hundreds of injured patients, with St. Philip's Chapel being used to accommodate the massive overflow. The majority of cases are severe and need more advanced care and surgical intervention.

Although volunteer doctors and nurses have responded to appeals for help, the hospital is still in need of additional vascular, neuro, and orthopaedic surgeons, as well as more drugs and medical supplies to meet the demand.

damage caused at the hospital curtilage by a missile strike
Damage was caused to the hospital curtilage by a widely-reported missile strike. The Hospital continued to function nevertheless.

The Diocese is working with the UN, WHO, and Red Cross/Red Crescent to address these urgent needs. Despite the breakdown of the ceasefire, we remain hopeful that the humanitarian crisis both in the north and throughout the Gaza Strip will be addressed.

We are asked to pray that the flow of supplies and emergency assistance can reach those wounded who remain in such desperate need. 

Of course Christians believe that the ultimate sign of hope lies in the birth at Bethlehem that we are about to remember. The Churches in the West Bank are trying to find ways of affirming that hope whilst acknowledging the tragic circumstances of the present situation. The Lutheran Church in Bethlehem has assembled a very different kind of Christmas crib this year. The Child is under the rubble, as a Lutheran Christian writes.

The Lutheran crib
Photo: Munther Isaac

 The child of Bethlehem is our hope. 

In Gaza today, God is under the rubble. He is in the operating room. If Christ were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble. We see his image in every child killed and pulled from under the rubble