The United States President Joe Biden visited the LWF-operated Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) on the morning of Friday July 15. The visit was part of a two-day presidential visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Biden’s visit to the hospital is the first visit of a sitting US president to East Jerusalem. The US President announced a USD 100 million multi-year commitment toward the East Jerusalem Hospital Network (EJHN), of which AVH is a member.
The six chief executive officers of the EJHN members were invited as well as ELCJHL Bishop Ibrahim Azar. Several AVH medical staff and the LWF Representative, Sieglinde Weinbrenner, attended.
The President in his address emphasized the United States will continue to work with Palestinian leaders, the Israeli government and international partners to ensure that the EJHN remains “sustainable, available, and is able to provide the high-quality care” that Palestinians deserve.
Palestinians and Israelis, he noted, “deserve equal measure of freedom, security, prosperity and dignity, and access to health care when you need it, is essential to living a life of dignity for all of us.”
Upon the occasion of the visit of President Biden to Palestine and Israel, ELCJHL Bishop Ibrahim Azar, shared a letter with the president about the wider context and effects of the occupation, highlighting the plight of Palestinian Christians.