Photo Credit: Anglican / Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
The Diagnostic Cancer Treatment Centre of al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza has been hit by an Israeli rocket. Two upper floors of the centre, which houses the ultrasound and mammography wards, were severely damaged.
The strike came as Israeli forces continue their military campaign to eradicate the Hamas terrorist group following the devastating 7 October Hamas attacks in southern Israel.
Israeli authorities say that more than 1,300 people were killed and 3,227 injured in Israel in the 7 October attack by Hamas. Others – this morning (Monday) the Israeli authorities put the number at 199 – were kidnapped in the attack and taken over the border to Gaza.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health say that In the ensuing military response, which has involved heavily aerial bombardment by Israel, some 2,329 people were killed in Gaza; and 9,714 were injured.
The strike on al-Ahli Arab hospital happened at 7.30 pm EEST (4.30 pm GMT) on Saturday 14 October. Four hospital staff were injured in the blast and are receiving treatment for their wounds.
“The Diagnostic Centre is the Crown Jewel of Ahli Hospital, providing cancer diagnosis as a prelude to various treatment options both at Ahli and in other facilities”, the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, Archbishop Hosam Naoum said. “Next month, we were due to open a new chemotherapy centre there in partnership with Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives – a principal reason for our visit to the hospital last week.”
He continued: “please continue to pray for the safety of the hospital, its staff, and the patients and refugees who are being housed there.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby, has spoken of the “grave danger” facing hospitals in Gaza, and he called for the Israeli evacuation order in place for northern Gaza to be rescinded for hospitals in the region.
“The seriously ill and injured patients at the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital – and other healthcare facilities in northern Gaza – cannot be safely evacuated”, he said. “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.”