The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continues to affect all aspects of life for Palestinians. Access to health services, education, and water resources are all impeded by the restrictions imposed by the occupation.
Economic hardship plagues both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where World Bank estimates put unemployment amongst the highest globally at 32 percent. Restrictions on movement and access continue to hamper growth prospects.
Israeli settlement expansion continues on Palestinian land, with over 120 government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem) and 100 “settlement outposts” throughout the West Bank. Since 2008, over 2,400 Palestinian structures have been demolished and more than 4,400 Palestinians have been displaced.
In addition to the suffering of the occupation, violence continues to define the conflict. In November 2012 alone, four Israeli civilians and two Israeli soldiers, and approximately 100 Palestinian civilians and 100 combatants were killed.
What we’re doing in Jerusalem program
The LWF has been serving the needs of Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian Territories for more than 60 years. As a major Christian presence on the Mount of Olives, we provide essential health care, vocational training, scholarships and material aid, and promote justice, peace and reconciliation.
Our August Victoria Hospital provides specialty care for Palestinians from across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with services including a cancer center, a dialysis unit, and a pediatric center.
Our vocational training program has worked with Palestinian youth since 1949. We offer training in automobile repair, carpentry, catering, craftwork, metalwork, plumbing and central heating, secretarial work, and telecommunications.
As a lasting peace can seem more and more elusive, we continue to provide material aid to refugees and others living in poverty. This includes household items for families and educational loans for Palestinian youth. We support those living in refugee camps, elderly care centers, and community centers.
Augusta Victoria Hospital
Built in 1907 and named after the wife of German Kaiser Wilhelm II, Augusta Victora is a church-hospital complex located on the southern side of Mount Scopus beside Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.
Today, Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) now functions as a 161-bed hospital and is the second largest hospital in East Jerusalem, as well as the sole remaining specialized care unit located in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
AVH also has a Department on Oncology which specializes in advanced cancer treatment, and well as a pediatric pediatric onocology ward for Palestinian children, which opened in April 2005. The hospital mission statement includes the provision of health care without regard to race, creed, gender, or national origin.
The pastor’s rectory at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer is also located on the site, along with administrative offices and living quarters for Lutheran World Federation Jersusalem. AVH also operates a guesthouse run by the LWF for international volunteers and guests.