Anglican hospital hit in Gaza, Archbishop of Canterbury mourns ‘appalling’ loss

Anglican hospital

A devastating attack on the al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza resulting in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives has shocked the world.

Tuesday’s rocket strike left as many as 500 people dead and a great many others injured.

The hospital was a place of refuge for Palestinians following evacuation orders from Israel.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, expressed his profound sorrow at the incident.

“This is an appalling and devastating loss of innocent lives” said Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.

Welby spoke out after first reports emerged that the hospital had been hit by an Israeli rocket. Palestinian officials had made that claim.

The Israeli military has denied the strike was theirs. They accused a Palestinian militant group of launching a rocket that malfunctioned then hit the hospital.

Neither report has been verified.

The Anglican hospital tragedy occurred after 10 days of intense conflict between Israel and Hamas. The latest conflict began with an assault on Jewish settlements by Hamas militants on 7 October.

Welby had previously called on the Israelis to reverse their demand for evacuating hospitals in Gaza.

“The seriously ill and injured patients at the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital — and other healthcare facilities in northern Gaza — cannot be safely evacuated,” he warned in a statement on Sunday.

“They are running low on medical supplies. They are facing catastrophe.

“I appeal for the evacuation order on hospitals in northern Gaza to be reversed — and for health facilities, health workers, patients and civilians to be protected,” Welby said.

Humanitarian corridors called for

On Sunday Pope Francis called for humanitarian corridors to help those under siege in Gaza, and again appealed for the release of hostages held by the militant Islamist group Hamas.

“I forcefully ask that children, the sick, the elderly and women, and all civilians do not become the victims of the conflict,” he said at his weekly address to thousands of people in St Peter’s Square.

“May humanitarian rights be respected, above all in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors to help the entire population,” he said.


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