Crisis in the Holy Land
On 7 October, Hamas gunmen entered Israel from the Gaza Strip, killed more than 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Israel retaliated with air strikes and an invasion of tanks and troops in the Gaza strip, with very high numbers of civilian casualties.
There is a rapidly developing humanitarian crisis in Gaza that needs urgent attention. The ongoing hostilities have created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with homes, schools, medical facilities, and critical infrastructure being extensively damaged or destroyed, and a large number of people, including children, being killed. The conflict has led to mass displacement of people within a very narrow area of land. There is shortage of water, electricity, fuel, and food as border crossing remains closed and only the Rafah crossing via Egypt is accessible for humanitarian aid . There are also reports of increased violence in the West Bank.
In statements, LWF has condemned the violence on both sides and called for a release of hostages, for a ceasefire, and for humanitarian access to support the civilian population in Gaza.
LWF is present in the Holy Land through its member church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and the LWF Jerusalem Program. The LWF Jerusalem Program started in 1948 as a refugee operation and continues, over 75 years later, to serve the Palestinian people. The LWF Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives provides specialized, life-saving cancer treatment and hemodialysis to patients from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. AVH cooperates with the Anglican Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza city, and is committed to rebuilding the cancer diagnostic center damaged in the recent explosion.
LWF is part of the ACT Appeal PSE231, where support is requested to rehabilitate the diagnostic center, to distribute life-saving cancer medication in Gaza; to support patients, companions and staff from Gaza and the West Bank; and provide mental health and psychosocial support to patients, students and staff of the LWF Jerusalem Program.
Our emergency response
Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert