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The Bishop of Southwark speaks out on Gaza

1 month ago

Yesterday the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun joined with Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Holy Land Coordination, in condemning the violence in Gaza.  They said, “The terrible loss of life in Gaza caused by the Israeli army's use of live fire against civilians is to be condemned unequivocally. These protests take place against the drastically deteriorating humanitarian situation which leaves little hope and continues to undermine a peaceful resolution. Hundreds of families across Gaza are now mourning their loved ones, dead and wounded. Israel has a right to defend itself but also has the moral and legal responsibility not to use disproportionate force and not to prevent the injured from receiving medical treatment.  All violence is destructive to peace efforts and our cry is for a peaceful two state solution with Jerusalem as the shared capital.  We pray for all those who suffer from this conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem.”

The level of humanitarian suffering is emphasised by the appeal today from the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza to its supporters as it says “that the situation at the hospital is critical”.  This hospital which is supported by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East and is a recipient of support through the Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call Fund 2018 is seen as a centre of excellence in healthcare in the Gaza strip.  

The Director of Al Ahli is implementing an emergency response to receive trauma cases as a result of the current spate of violence and says that the hospital has configured an emergency wing with 24 additional beds. The staff is on extended shifts to treat the injured and wounded. Al Ahli surgeons are treating serious wounds and complex limb injuries.   The hospital’s resources are stretched by the many injured for whom they are caring.

The Bishop of Southwark is also hoping to ask a question about the situation in the House of Lords.