HOSPITALS in Gaza are still struggling to cope with the huge
number of people wounded in the latest violence. The Anglican-run
Al-Ahli Hospital last weekend announced that since the start of the
fighting, it had dealt with 1420 cases, of which more than 35 per
cent involved physical wounds.
The surgical team had been dealing "mostly with explosion
injuries and traumas, including: abdominal injuries, bone injuries,
chest injuries, soft-tissue injuries, and different types of
burns". The hospital said that about half the burn cases were
Al-Ahli Hospital has also been receiving, on average, about 150
patients, mostly children, affected by inadequate hygiene,
resulting from the large piles of uncollected rubbish, and a
shortage of food and water. The needs of the hospital include fuel
to run generators, medical supplies, food, and linen.
An appeal on behalf of Al-Ahli has been launched by the UK-based
charity the Nazareth Trust (https://my.give.net/AlAhli).
The Trust said that it could offer practical support through its
own Christian hospital in Nazareth.
The Nazareth Trust's chief executive officer, Joseph Main, said:
"It doesn't matter what faith or community you are: the constant in
all of this is the suffering of those involved, especially the
children. There is already a shortage of equipment, medication,
food, and fuel, and, with dozens more injured on a daily basis, the
situation is clearly critical. We have an opportunity to be able to
help. Every donation will make a positive difference and have the
potential to save a life."
Mr Main said that the Nazareth Trust, having worked in the
region for more than 150 years, was well placed to understand the
needs of Gazans: "When there is a humanitarian crisis like this, it
is vital for those donating money to know that the aid is going to
the right place. The Nazareth Trust has the experience and
knowledge, and is committed to ensuring that every penny
The relief and development agency of the YMCA movementin the UK
and Ireland, Y Care International, has also launched an emergency
The chairman of YMCA Gaza, Suheil Tarazi, said that the
organisation was helping in efforts to reach those in need of
emergency assistance. "We have no electricity," he said, "and I
myself will run out of drinking water very soon. We call upon the
YMCA movement and the international community to exert pressure to
put an end to this tragedy."
Gazans will need many months, perhaps years, to recover from the
trauma of the latest and longest spell of attacks. One inevitable
outcome will be a further hardening of attitudes towards Israel.
Beyond Gaza and the Middle East, too, criticism of Israel's
onslaught against the territory has grown over recent days. A
recently published poll indicates that, even before the outbreak of
violence in July, nearly twice as many British Christians
sympathised with the Palestinians (35.4 per cent) as they did with
Israel (16.9 per cent). The poll was conducted in May for the
charity Embrace the Middle East.
These results contrast sharply with the views of Christians in
the United States. A Pew Forum pollin April suggested that between
40 and 80 per cent of Christians (depending on denomination)
support Israel, and between four and 20 per cent sympathise with
In the opinion of the chief executive officer of Embrace the
Middle East, Jeremy Moodey, the recent bloodshed in Gaza is likely
to have further strengthened sympathy among Christians in the UK
for the Palestinian cause. "Many Christians in this country have
been profoundly shocked by the horrific images coming out of Gaza.
Hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians, including women,
children, and the elderly have been killed in the Israeli assault.
There have also been deaths on the Israeli side, but on a vastly