‘Compelled to Close’ – Episcopal Church Protests Israel’s Closure of Gaza Baptist Hospital

The Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City following the evacuation. (Photo: DawoudAbo Alkas, via Twitter)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

With limited options for treating the injured, the hospital’s closure reportedly forced Palestinian health officials to transfer patients to another hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East protested on Tuesday the closure of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, which was imposed by the Israeli military’s evacuation orders, Reuters news agency reported.

A statement from the Diocese of Jerusalem indicated that the hospital was “compelled to close by the Israeli army.”

According to the statement, the area around the hospital experienced a significant drone fire starting on Sunday night.

“This was followed by an IDF (Israeli military) announcement that the area had been declared a red zone and that everyone should immediately evacuate all the buildings including everyone in the hospital,” the statement continued.

New evacuation orders for Palestinian families and residents of several eastern Gaza City suburbs have led to a new wave of displacement, affecting thousands of people.

With limited options for treating the injured, the hospital’s closure reportedly forced Palestinian health officials to transfer patients to another hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.

“We protest the closure of our hospital in the strongest possible terms,”  the statement quoted Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, as saying.

“In a time of warfare and great suffering it is essential that emergency healthcare services are maintained to treat the injured and the dying,” he reportedly added.

Archbishop Naoum also called on Israel to allow the hospital to reopen and to cease targeting civilians while appealing for an immediate ceasefire.

Since the beginning of the war on October 7, 2023, Israel has systematically destroyed the Palestinian healthcare system in the Strip.

On October 17, a devastating explosion took place in the courtyard of the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, where hundreds of displaced Palestinians had sought refuge.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 471 people were killed and 342 injured by the Israeli strike.

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 38,193 Palestinians have been killed, and 87,903 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

 The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Later in the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians began moving from the south to central Gaza in a constant search for safety.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. Each one of those forced hospital closures in Gaza, and the ones libeled by the IDF and its puppy-dog media outlets, will be held against the IDF. Genocide Convention Article 2: “(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;” It is undeniable that targeting hospitals, closing them forcibly, the libeling them as being used for military purposes when they are not, are crimes intended to bring about the physical destruction of the people relying on those hospitals.

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