Megan Brandsrud

Gaza - AVH Medical Team

(Pictured: A medical team from Augusta Victoria Hospital prepares to provide medical assistance in Gaza. LWF/Mark Brown)

Violence in the Holy Land erupted at the beginning of July, and now more than 1,800 people have been killed and more than 10,000 people have been injured as the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues. Most of the deceased and injured are reported to be civilians and children.

Because of the lack of security, the ability to provide proper health care in Gaza is waning thin.

Working with the Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran Disaster Response has committed an initial $100,000 to Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), a Lutheran hospital in Jerusalem, to send AVH medical teams and supplies into Gaza. Augusta Victoria is a hospital that provides medical services regardless of race, gender, religious or political affiliation.

Medical professionals from Augusta Victoria are providing specialty care, medications and supplies to triage and treat patients in Gaza. Augusta Victoria is also providing care for patients with cancer and chronic illnesses who are being moved from Gaza to AVH to avoid deterioration of their health during the conflict and to relieve beds in Gaza for injured patients. In addition to physical care, Augusta Victoria medical professionals are providing psychosocial support to patients who have been evacuated from Gaza.

The Rev. Dr. Munib A. Younan, the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land has visited with patients who have been injured as a result of the conflict. In a July 16 public statement, Younan called for critical support for healthcare infrastructure and asked that “all people of good will intervene in the present situation of unacceptable violence and bloodshed.”

We continue to monitor the situation in Gaza closely and walk with our brothers and sisters who are being impacted by this conflict. We pray for peace in the Holy Land and for God to grant comfort and healing to those who have been injured.

If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response’s work in the Holy Land, please visit the Lutheran Disaster Response giving page. Your gifts designated for Gaza Humanitarian Assistance will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those directly impacted by this crisis. Bishop Younan asked us “to create hope in a hopeless situation,” and your gifts allow us to continue to respond.

Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:26