Primate's World Relief and Development Fund

Gaza hospital partner closes to new patients

Hospital director stands in a destroyed office.
Al-Ahli Arab Hospital director Suhaila Tarazi in a destroyed administration room. Photo: Courtesy of Diocese of Jerusalem
By on November 20, 2023
Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

PWRDF has been responding to the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza since violence began October 7. We granted an initial $30,000 to long-standing partner, the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital – run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem – for staffing and other emergency medical supplies. Donors answered the Gaza Emergency appeal for funds and gave more than $135,000 to PWRDF.

As a result of the increasingly dangerous situation across northern Gaza, and near the hospital, a number of medical staff, including the surgical team, were forced to make the difficult decision to evacuate. According to Sawsan Aranki-Batato, Programs Development Officer with the Diocese of Jerusalem, around 40 patients who were not able to evacuate currently remain in the hospital and are being cared for by nurses and other medical staff.

Money donated to PWRDF’s appeal will be available for the short-, medium and long-term needs, as the hospital and Diocese of Jerusalem determine. PWRDF is also participating in a joint response through the Anglican Alliance (including agencies in the U.S., Australia and the U.K.), which will work with the Diocese of Jerusalem to provide immediate relief in the coming months, along with recovery and reconstruction when that time comes.

The Al-Ahli Hospital had continued to operate despite the immense challenges and was one of the last functioning hospitals in the North of Gaza. In addition to a shortage of medical supplies, Al-Ahli is also almost out of fuel to run the generators that provide electricity. Now, it has been reduced to what is being described as a “first aid station” by Dr. Ghassan Abu, a British-Palestinian physician working there.

“It has been a living nightmare – leaving 500 wounded knowing that there’s nothing left for you to be able to do for them,” said Dr. Abu in a November 17 interview with Reuters. “It’s just the most heartbreaking thing I ever had to do.” After the supply of anaesthetics ran out and bombs were causing the building to shake, Dr. Abu and his team were forced to leave the hospital and make their way on foot to the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

“We are deeply saddened by the increasingly urgent humanitarian situation in Gaza,” said PWRDF Executive Director, Will Postma. “We commend and pray for the Al-Ahli hospital staff who remain on site caring for patients in such a deeply trying context. We pray for the safety of all Al-Ahli staff including those who have had to flee.

“We are filled with enormous grief for what we are seeing in Gaza, for the tragedy that has also happened in Israel and for continued conflicts in so many other parts of the world.”

Please keep the people affected by the war in your prayers.


  • Jacqueline Tucci

    Jacqueline Tucci is a communications officer for the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.

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