Thanksgiving for Fifty Years of the new Parish Church, Dromore, diocese of Clogher
Retiring Collection for Al Ahli Christian Hospital, Gaza

In response to the scenes that we have witnessed in the Middle East over the season of Christmas and early January our Bishop, the Rt. Rev Michael Jackson has asked the Diocesan Board of Mission to raise money to send to the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, to be used for the Anglican Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.

Parishes are invited to set aside, Sunday January 18th as a day of praying for Israel and Gaza, and giving, (possibly a retiring collection), for Al Ahli Arab Hospital, but parishes and individuals can choose other ways of fund raising if they wish.

In a statement on 30th December, the Right Rev’d Suheil S. Dawani, The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem (and a visitor to our own diocese during Pentecost 2008), said about the situation; “… we are greatly grieved by the severity of the ongoing military operations in Gaza that are occurring in heavily populated areas and impacting the civilian population.

As a Diocese with well over a century of an unbroken commitment to the well being and peace of the community in Gaza City through our Al Ahli Arab Hospital, we are both stunned and saddened by the events unfolding in Gaza.

The heavy loss of Palestinian lives and the serious wounds and injuries to many hundreds of innocent bystanders require the immediate cessation of hostilities for the well being and safety of both the Palestinian and Israeli communities, and especially for Gaza and the nearby Israeli population centres. The gravity of the situation threatens to engulf this entire region and we ask the Palestinians and Israelis to return to active negotiations for the well being and safety of both communities.

Of immediate concern is the urgent medical services needed by the victims of this violence. The immensity of providing care for the injured and wounded is overwhelming a healthcare system struggling to provide essential healthcare services for 1.5 million Palestinians, most of who live in refugee camps.”

Cheques to be made payable to Clogher Diocesan Board of Missions and sent to the diocesan accountant, Mr. Leslie Stevenson, St. Macartin’s Cathedral Hall, Hall’s Lane, Enniskillen, BT74 7DR by 28th January. Those wishing to Gift Aid their donation can do so by downloading the Gift Aid Form, and returning the completed form with their donation.


Update on the situation in Gaza from The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani

Posted On : January 8, 2009 2:17 PM | Posted By : Webmaster
Related Categories: Middle East

Jerusalem, January 7th, 2009 - At a time when great tragedy is occurring in the Holy Land in Gaza, I want to share some insight into what we are experiencing on a moment to moment basis. Our Diocese has one of 11 hospitals serving a population of 1.5 million residents in the Gaza Strip. The Al Ahli Arab (Anglican) Hospital has been in operation for over 100 years and has a very dedicated medical staff of doctors,nurses, technicians and general services personnel.

During the best of times they are stretched to their maximum meeting the medical needs of this populous community. Now, during the current military conflict with its heavy toll on human life and material, the hospital faces even greater responsibilities and challenges. The result is growing strain on the hospital's resources. Every day since the beginning of military operations, the hospital has received 20-40 injured or wounded patients. A large proportion of them require hospitalization and surgery. These patients are in addition to those with non-conflict-related illnesses. About one-fourth of the patients are children.

In addition, the conflict has brought new type of medical and surgical conditions. For example, patients with burns and acute, crippling psychological trauma, are being seen more frequently. Because it is not possible for aid workers to enter Gaza at this time, the hospital's staff is working around the clock, struggling with the effects of exhaustion and against limited resources in a conflicted area of ongoingmilitary operations.

Many medical items are needed, especially bandages and supplies for burns and trauma. The hospital's windows have all been blown out or shattered from rocket and missile concussion and cold permeates the entire premises. Plastic sheeting to cover the windows could alleviate some of the cold but is unavailable now. Food supplies are scant throughout the Gaza strip and maintaining patients' nutritional needs at the hospital has been difficult, especially for the most vulnerable. Some medicines and supplies for the hospital have been generously donated by US AID, but it has not yet been possible to deliver the items.

Efforts to help alleviate some of the shortages are underway and we hope that the shipments will arrive quickly. Through the ICRC limited amounts of diesel fuel are being delivered to keep the electrical generators functional for life saving and other essential equipment. We are working with a number of related governmental and international voluntary agencies to speed up the delivery and steady supply of needed medicines and food. We are also working to ensure to the fullest extent possible
the physical safety of the Hospital staff and campus.

On a "normal" day, approximately 600 life line trucks a day bring supplies to the Gaza Strip. Many are under the auspices of UNRWA and international relief agencies because about two-thirds of Gaza's residents are Refugees and living in UNRWA Camps. During this time of conflict, that number of trucks is not seen in a week or more. Because of the reduced deliveries, medical items, nutritional food, and other basic supplies are now scarce items, if available at all, for ourbrothers and sisters in Gaza.

I ask you to join with me in prayer and by offering whatever financial support you can for our Hospital and heroic Staff of the Al Ahli Hospital - and other such humanitarian endeavors. Thankfully the Hospital plant remains intact at this time. While several among our Staff have suffered loss and injuries within their own families, they are representing all of us as a witness of God's love to all people - " come unto to me all you who are heavy laden and I will refresh you". As we continue to pray for communal Palestinian and Israeli PEACE, we especially remember these dedicated individuals who cannot leave, but
most importantly do not want to leave, but continue to do all they canto help.

Our Lord's imperative in St. John's Gospel during this Epiphany season gives each of us the new hope for a new dawn of light, life and communal conciliation - "I have come that you may have Life and have itabundantly".

Bishop Dawani is Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.


Episcopal Relief & Development Supports Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza

Since the recent upsurge on December 27th, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has left more than 600 people dead, and
2,500 injured. Episcopal Relief & Development's partner, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, reports devastating civilian casualties and a risingdeath toll in Gaza City.

During this time of crisis, Episcopal Relief & Development remains in close contact with its partner the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Episcopal Relief & Development has responded to an urgent appeal from the Diocese by sending initial emergency funds to the Al Ahli Hospitalin Gaza.

"We continue to monitor the needs of the Diocese of Jerusalem and are preparing to send additional emergency funds. Please pray for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Al Alhi Arab Hospital as they risk their lives to provide lifesaving emergency care to people injured in the ongoing conflict" said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & development.
Al Ahli Arab Hospital, located at the heart of Gaza City, has treated more than 100 injured civilians since the beginning of the December attacks. The hospital continues to provide essential emergency health care to injured civilians. Ahli Arab Hospital has not turned anyone away despite increasingly dire conditions. The staff and volunteers at the hospital desperately need medicine and emergency supplies to continuetheir life saving work.

"We join Episcopalians around the world in a prayer for peace," said Radtke.

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Date: 8th January 08