At bottom of this page are some reports about the situation with the hospital in Gaza from the Anglican (Episcopal) Bishop of Jerusalem and some other sources. Contributions to humanitarian aid for the hospital can be made in the USA through Episcopal Relief and Development. You can make an online donation through that site (minimum $12), or by writing P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058 or by calling 1-800-334-7626 ext. 5129.
Here is some information about an impromptu event we are doing here in Montpelier, Vermont to raise money for the hospital. As Israel has been the USA's #1 recipient of military aid for decades, I feel it is a particular responsibility of Americans to help with humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Gaza.
Saturday, January 24
“Jazz for Gaza,” music to benefit emergency medical aid for the Episcopal church-affiliated Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. Pianist Michael Arnowitt and Friends, with Dan Haley, John LaRouche, and others. Langdon St. Cafe, Montpelier, 3-5 pm, free-will donation. Info: 229-0984.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
150 Main Street
Montpelier VT 05602
Jazz for Gaza
Local jazz musicians will perform Saturday, January 24 to raise money for emergency medical aid for the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Pianist Michael Arnowitt, joined by guitarist Dan Haley, John LaRouche on chromatic harmonica, and others, will play jazz at the Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier from 3 to 5 pm. A donation will be taken to help with medical supplies, food, and fuel for the hospital.
The Episcopal church-affiliated Al Ahli Arab Hospital is located in the center of Gaza City, one of eleven hospitals in the Gaza strip. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem will be the intermediary organization to receive Vermonters’ contributions and facilitate the transportation of aid to Gaza. The diocese reported earlier this week that many of the hospital’s windows and doors were destroyed by nearby rocket and missile fire. As there is no glass in Gaza at present, the hospital has had to use plastic garbage bags to put in the windows as a temporary measure for the patients against the cold.
In addition to providing medical supplies such as anaesthetics, suture materials and bandages, aid workers will also deliver to the hospital food for patients and fuel to run the hospital’s generators. Electricity is often non-functional in Gaza so hospitals have had to use increasingly scarce fule to run generators to operate their medical equipment. The Al Ahli Hospital has also treated many children who have suffered psychological trauma from the attacks of the last month.
For more information, contact Michael Arnowitt in Montpelier at (802) 229-0984.
Below please find for your convenience some accounts of the situation with the Al Ahli Hospital I found on the internet.
Statement of the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem
January 20, 2009
Al Ahli Arab Hospital continues to receive and care for many patients each day who are injured, wounded, or burned from the current conflict. Up to 40 new patients are seen each day and many of them require hospital admission and surgery. This increased surgical load places strains on related hospital departments — anesthetics, suture material, operating room linens and equipment, bandages, and surgeons themselves. Until relief is available from additional healthcare personnel, the hospital staff works long intervals without rest and struggles against exhaustion. Some hospital staff are now staying in the hospital around the clock, adding to the hospital's obligations.
In addition, Al Ahli is now receiving patients referred from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City—up to 15 per day. Patients are also being seen, especially children, who are experiencing the effects of fear and psychological trauma.
Large-scale efforts are underway to deliver needed material assistance to the hospital, but the procedures required for safe delivery impose security-related limitations on the amounts of supplies that can be delivered and the time required to get them to the hospital. The hospital is short of fuel which is required to continue operating the electrical generator because little electricity is available in Gaza. Without the fuel for the generator the hospital would have no electricity, which would greatly impact its ability to operate.
Glass in windows and doors at the hospital was shattered by nearby rocket and missile strikes. Glass is unavailable in Gaza at the present time for permanent repair, so the windows are temporarily covered with plastic rubbish bags until plastic sheeting becomes available for better protection from the cold.
Food is in increasingly desperate need. Our efforts at this time are focused on providing nutritional products for the most vulnerable people; for example, children and nursing mothers.
An additional scarcity in Gaza is cash. Many banks are closed for lack of cash. During this time, the Diocese is providing the cash necessary for the hospital to carry out its work and is also providing assurance that any debts incurred by Al Ahli Hospital will be honored.
For More Information
Middle East and Europe
700 Prospect Ave.
Phone: 866-822-8224 ext. 3227
makarip at ucc.org
Statement in late December 2008 by the Right Rev’d Suheil S. Dawani, The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem
“… 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.”
Statement bu the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, January 7, 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 ongoing military 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 our brothers 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 can to 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 it abundantly'."