Diocese of Jerusalem supports access of vulnerable people to health and education services in the Holy Land

18 March 2024

Al Ahli Hospital is providing medical care to patients as well as shelter and basic needs for family members within their compound. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Jerusalem

Over the past few months, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has worked ceaselessly as it supports people facing the impact of the Israel-Hamas war. The Diocese is working through its health and education institutions in the Holy Land to provide access to services for the most vulnerable people, physically, psychologically and financially affected by the conflict. It has been a privilege for the Anglican Alliance to accompany the Diocese at this time. The Alliance has helped to convene a multi-partner consortium from across the Communion to support the Diocese’ humanitarian response.

With ongoing violence, displacement, supply shortages and loss of livelihoods impacting on communities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the Diocese of Jerusalem has identified health care and education as priorities which build on its institutional strengths. In addition to supporting continuing health services at the Diocese’ Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza, this initiative also supports access to health care for vulnerable people in the West Bank at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Nablus and Penman Clinic in Jenin, along with maintaining access to education for children whose families are losing income due to the conflict.

The Most Revd Hosam Naoum, Archbishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, has shared his appreciation of the prayer and support that has flowed from across the Anglican Communion: “We are grateful for the support of all those who contributed in support of our Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which has by a miracle of God remained open throughout the war to serve the hundreds of sick and wounded brought through its gates each week.”

Archbishop Hosam added: “Please continue to pray and advocate on behalf of all those who suffer throughout the Holy Land, even as we seek a just and lasting peace here in the very land where our Lord Jesus Christ took up his cross for our sake.”

Sawsan Aranki Batato, Programs Development Officer at the Diocese of Jerusalem, said: “The war has torn apart communities and families and has already had a devastating impact on the health infrastructure, and we know that it will take a long time to fully address evolving needs.” This work is “starting to help people who have fled to heal and restore their shattered lives and livelihoods. As violence continues, so do the ever-increasing urgent needs.”

Dr. Suhaila Tarazi, Director of North Gaza’s Al-Ahli Hospital, spoke recently to the Anglican Journal in Canada. Reflecting on the situation, Dr Suhaila said: “People, even nowadays, are going through another war: not only the bombardment from air and sea and land—also now they are facing acute food insecurity and a risk of famine is coming very soon. And this situation reflects directly to the work of Ahli Arab Hospital.” She added: “We never lose hope and we are looking for a ceasefire because in war there is no winning.” (See here for the full article.)

The World Health Organization reports that it and its partners recently “completed a mission to Al-Ahli Arab and Al-Sahaba hospitals in northern Gaza. Both hospitals are functioning with limited capacity, and lack fuel, specialised staff, anaesthetic drugs, antibiotics, and internal fixation devices. We delivered orthopaedic and trauma items for 150 patients and 13,000L of fuel to Al-Ahli Arab hospital…We need sustained, safe access to health facilities in order to supply them with urgently needed lifesaving healthcare on a regular basis.”

The Anglican Alliance has convened a consortium of international partners around the Anglican Communion to respond to a specific humanitarian appeal from the Diocese of Jerusalem. This joint appeal is raising funds to help vulnerable people access quality health and education services through the diocesan institutions, including funds for the following:

  • Costs of medical services for vulnerable outpatients at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, as well as Saint Luke’s Hospital in Nablus and Penman Clinic in Jenin on the West Bank.
  • Costs of medical services for vulnerable inpatients at the hospitals.
  • Assistance to those displaced or economically impacted by conflict in the West Bank, especially to ensure children continue to receive quality education, with psychosocial support.
  • Further needs to be identified as the situation evolves.

Please continue to hold the Diocese of Jerusalem and the people of the Holy Land in your prayers and support this appeal if you are able. Members of the Anglican Alliance consortium receiving funds for this Diocese of Jerusalem appeal include:

Aotearoa/New Zealand/Polynesia: Anglican Missions and Tearfund NZ

AustraliaAnglican Board of Mission Anglicans in Development and Anglican Overseas Aid

CanadaPrimate’s World Relief and Development Fund

UKTearfund and USPG

USAEpiscopal Relief & Development


Other organisations receiving funds for the Diocese of Jerusalem include:

Canada: Canadian Companions of the Diocese of Jerusalem

Germany: Evangelische Mission in Solidarität (EMS)

UK: The Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association and Friends of the Holy Land

USA: The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

Contact email for the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem: info@j-diocese.org


Please join us in continuing to pray without ceasing for the Holy Land:

O God of all justice and peace,

we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma

of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.

Be with those who need you in these days of suffering;

we pray for people of all faiths –

Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land.

While we pray to you, O Lord,

for an end to violence and the establishment of peace,

we also call to you to bring justice and equity to the peoples.

Guide us into your kingdom where all people

are treated with dignity and honour as your children –

for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father.

In Jesus’ name we pray.


Prayer by Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem