Prayer Request from the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Prayer Request from the Bishop of Jerusalem

Date: 11/30/2002 6:15:20 AM Pacific Standard Time

Dear Friends,

Salaam and grace in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ and blessed Advent greetings to you from Jerusalem.  I would like to share a very disturbing situation with you. I am forwarding a letter I received yesterday, from The Rev. Hosam Naoum, our Diocesan priest in Nablus.  Please keep the people of St. Luke’s Hospital, Nablus and the entire region in your prayers.  In Christ,  + The Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Dear Bishop Riah, 

Peace and grace from our Lord Jesus Christ. I had to write this email to let you know what happened last night at the St. Luke’s Hospital compound. At about 2:30 am our ambulance finished dropping a patient at the hospital for delivery.  As he was pulling out of the hospital’s gate, an Israeli military convoy was heading into the hospital in a manner that the gatekeeper didn’t have the chance to close the gate after our Ambulance had left. Three jeeps and an Israeli military ambulance came in the hospital.  Two tanks stood outside (the entrance is narrow) and an armored personnel carrier as well.
Nobody dared to peep out of the window to see what was going on until the convoy left the hospital at about 4:30 am. In the morning we came to the hospital to see what really happened.  The Israeli soldiers searched the whole compound, without entering the new or main building of the hospital.
During their search they smashed several windows in order to get into the old building and until now we did not go in to see what really happened inside. The door of the Hospital’s Cafeteria was bombed or smashed with a huge hammer.  I saw a big hole in the door and some of the Cafeteria’s contents were thrown on the ground. Even the sewage covers were opened.
Thank God for the safety of all patients and employees, who were very scared that the soldiers would at some point go into the main building which could be a critical situation, especially when it comes to health and humanitarian ministries. So Bishop it was my duty to let you know.  Thank you for your fatherly care to your children and institutions. 

With all my love and prayers 
Revd Hosam Naoum
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church & St. Luke’s Hospital
Nablus, West Bank, Palestine