Anglican Missions, alongside Tearfund NZ have written a joint letter to Rt Hon Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding the forced closure of Al Ahli Hospital this week. You can read the full text of the letter below:


9 July 2024
Rt. Hon. Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliament Buildings

Subject: Forced closure of Al Ahli Anglican Hospital, Gaza

Dear Minister Peters,

As the destruction of Gaza continues, we were grieved to hear on Sunday that the Al Ahli Arab Anglican Hospital, supported by Anglican Missions and Tearfund New Zealand has again been forced to close by the Israel Defence Force (IDF). On Sunday 7 July, firing from drones occurred in the immediate vicinity of the hospital followed by an IDF announcement demanding the evacuation of patients and staff to a safer place – which can no longer reasonably be said to exist anywhere in Gaza. The hospital is again out of operation because of IDF interference at a time when its services are needed more than ever.

As you are aware Minister, this hospital was one of the few to remain open when hostilities started in October 2023. It has continued to treat patients since. We wrote to you on 23 December as Anglican Missions, but also as part of a wider consortia of New Zealand agencies seeking the government’s help in asking for a ceasefire and insisting that international humanitarian law is upheld and that civilians are protected.

We write to you again now, in the eighth month of this conflict, and repeat our plea that New Zealand employs all diplomatic means to insist that international humanitarian law is upheld and that all civilians are protected.

The gravity of this situation cannot be overstated. Undoubtedly lives will be lost because of this latest evacuation and closure. The international community cannot stand back and watch. The time to act is now and the safety and well-being of the patients and hospital staff depend on decisive action.

Anglican Missions and our partner in this response, Tearfund NZ, represents a considerable constituency that runs to hundreds of thousands. While we appreciate the representations the government has already made on this issue, we urge you in the strongest terms to continue advocating for the protection of civilians.


Rev. Michael Hartfield, National Director – Anglican Missions
Ian McInnes, CEO – Tearfund NZ


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