No place is safe from the ongoing Israeli military offensive. Vital Christian institutions are under threat and unable to carry out their mission. The Al Ahli Anglican Hospital, one of the last functional hospitals in Gaza City, was surrounded on November 16th by Israeli tanks. Bombings in the surrounding area greatly impacted the ability of medical professionals in the hospital to offer services to patients requiring immediate care. The Orthodox Cultural Center, a newly built multi-million dollar facility bringing together Gazans from across religious communities was also destroyed.
The continued collective punishment through the shutting off water and electricity alongside the severe limitation on gas and humanitarian aid only compounds the problem. Because of gas shortages, communications have completely shut down. Those outside of Gaza, including Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, do not know if their loved ones or colleagues are alive. For more than ten days Dar Al Kalima staff in the West Bank were unaware of the safety of the director of their Gaza location. While the director is alive, three artists affiliated with their program, in addition to others, have been killed.
Christians are not only under threat in Gaza, but in other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories as well. Over the past 24 hours, Israeli settlers have threatened to take over up to as much as a quarter of the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. In a statement the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem shared they are “under possibly the greatest existential threat of [their] 16th-century history. This existential threat fully extends to all the Christian communities of Jerusalem.” Israeli settlers emboldened by the government are directly threatening the livelihood and safety of Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank, including Christians.