An urgent Welsh appeal for money for frontline medical services in Gaza, launched by the Anglican Archbishop in Wales, has started to attract widespread public support as the tragic conflict continues.
The appeal is raising money for medical supplies and equipment for health centres run by churches in Gaza, including a mobile dental clinic funded by the Church in Wales.
It is feared that this clinic was destroyed by a direct Israeli missile strike on a family health centre at the weekend. It was parked outside at the time.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has written to all parishes in Wales urging them to donate money to the appeal to support the Near East Council of Churches which runs the vital health centres and clinics. He also asked them to continue to pray for peace in the region.
He said: “We still do not yet know whether the mobile dental clinic survived the attack on the Shij’ia Family Centre on Saturday and therefore what its future, and that of the remaining healthcentres in Gaza City, will be."
Dr Morgan continued: "When they are able to function again, however, there will be a great need for money to buy supplies and equipment to keep them running so that they can provide basic humanitarian aid where it is most required.”
The appeal is being supported by other church denominations in Wales, through Cytun (Churches Together in Wales) and by Plaid Cymru’s vice-president, Jill Evans, MEP.
Ms Evans was working in Gaza in 2008 and is returning to Wales in February 2009.
She commented “I can only express my horror at the destruction of the centre and the continuing deaths and injuries. I urge people to contribute whatever they can to the appeal so that the primary health care work of the NECC can continue in the future.
“Thankfully there were no casualties but hundreds of thousands of pounds of medical equipment has been lost. Israel claims to be targeting military installations, yet this was a clearly marked health centre.”
The Archdeacon of Margam, the Ven Philip Morris, who co-ordinates the Church in Wales Jubilee Fund, which raises money for the mobile dental clinic, said people across Wales were responding generously to the Archbishop’s appeal.