At the time of this writing, regretfully, AFEDJ does not have any information on the whereabouts of hospital staff or reports on their safety, nor do we know the extent of the damage to the infrastructure of the hospital. We do know that Director Suhaila Tarazi evacuated South before the attack, and is presumed safe. We will continue to offer updates as we receive confirmed information from the Diocese of Jerusalem.
Ahli Arab Hospital has become another tragic casualty of the Hamas-Israel conflict after suffering a critical attack by an incendiary missile of contested origin on the night of October 17. More than 400 civilians have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health, and others wounded, many of them children who were using Ahli’s “safe sanctuary” as shelter and refuge.
AFEDJ acknowledges the sensitive nature of the details at the heart of this tragedy and the difficulty inherent in reporting on the events during this dark period of heightened emotions. As a non-political, non-sectarian organization, AFEDJ stands by our humanitarian mission and laments this catastrophe that has resulted in the loss of many innocent, civilian lives and caused untold suffering.
Whether a result of accident, failure, or targeted intention does not change the outcome for the victims of this atrocity. Ahli Hospital Director Suhaila Tarazi told AFEDJ “there are no winners in war” just eleven days ago when this conflict began. The carnage and scorched ground at Ahli Hospital serves as a haunting testament to her statement. With heavy hearts, AFEDJ joins the multitudes around the world grieving over this horrendous, senseless tragedy.
The unconscionable, merciless attack that claimed so many civilian lives occurred on the the same day that Archbishop Hosam Naoum, along with the Patriarchs and Heads of 13 Churches, set apart as a day of global fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.
Only hours before the fateful bombing, the children who sought safe shelter at Ahli gathered together in the hospital’s courtyard to sing for peace (“Salaam”) in a moving moment of solidarity and joy amidst the darkness. Just hours later, many were likely killed in the bombing that took the lives of hundreds of innocents, an attack deemed “a crime against humanity” by Archbishop Hosam.
For current updates on Ahli Hospital or any of the many institutions served by AFEDJ in the areas of crisis during this time of conflict, please check our website regularly and click on the banner that says: “Press Resources.” We will provide updates as they become available. At the time of this writing, we have confirmed that all of our other institutional partners throughout the Diocese of Jerusalem are as safe as they can be given the circumstances.