Statement: Hospitals in conflict zones must be protected

10 Jul 2024

LWF unequivocally condemns attacks on hospitals and medical infrastructure, following Russian missile strike that hit Kyiv children’s hospital, and the forced closure of Gaza hospital after Israeli Defense Forces’ evacuation order.

The Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza. Photo: Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

The Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza. Photo: Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

Following strike in Kyiv and Gaza hospital closure, LWF urges all parties to respect international humanitarian law

(LWI) The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) insists: Hospitals in conflict zones must be protected. In a statement today, the LWF reiterated calls for all parties to respect international humanitarian law, as it strongly condemned two harrowing examplesfrom conflict zones in Kyiv and Gaza. 

The LWF strongly condemned this week’s Russian missile strike that struck a children’s hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, and the subsequent closure of the Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza, Palestine, following an evacuation order by the Israeli Defense Forces.    

“LWF calls on all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, ensuring that hospitals are never targeted and that their ongoing operations are guaranteed, the stamen underlined. 

In Kyiv, the missile strike partially destroyed a children’s hospital, forcing many patients and families to flee for their lives. In Gaza, the order to evacuate the Anglican church-run hospital, putting injured and sick people in even greater risk. 

LWF’s operations in Ukraine from the frontline city of Kharkiv include support to war-affected families in the city and its surroundings with shelter rehabilitation, food and relief goods. 

LWF co-operates with the Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza. Following the evacuation orders, LWF’s Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem was compelled to halt the start of its planned telemedicine clinics for cancer patients who have been unable to access any treatment since the war began on 7 October. 

Hospitals in conflict zones must be protected

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) expresses profound concern over recent disregard for hospitals and medical infrastructure during conflicts and war.

This week, we have witnessed two harrowing examples from major conflict zones:

  1. Kyiv, Ukraine: A Russian missile strike partially destroyed a children’s hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Patients and families had to flee for their lives.
  2. Gaza: The Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza was closed after the Israeli Army declared the area a Red Zone and ordered immediate evacuation. Patients, vulnerable people sheltering in the hospital, and staff had to leave the relative safety of the hospital, putting injured and sick people in even greater distress.

Hospitals must never be targeted in war. LWF unequivocally condemns any attacks on hospitals and medical personnel. LWF calls on all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, ensuring that hospitals are never targeted and that their ongoing operations are guaranteed. This is crucial for providing necessary care to people in need.

 

Council Statements on Gaza and Ukraine