The Archbishop of Canterbury paid his first visit to Gaza today, on the third day of his 10-day official trip to the Holy Land.
Archbishop Justin Welby, accompanied by Archbishop Suheil Dawani, visited two hospitals in Gaza City, led worship in the chapel of the city’s Anglican hospital, and met members of Gaza’s Christian community.
He also visited Gaza War Cemetery, where British and imperial troops who fought in Gaza in 1917 are buried.
The Archbishop began his visit this morning at St John Eye Hospital. He was given a tour of the hospital by Majed Abu Ramadan, who is President of the Palestinian Ophthalmological Society and former Mayor of Gaza City.
The Archbishop then visited the Anglican-run Ahli Arab Hospital, where he met and was given a tour by its medical director, Dr Maher Ayyad. Following the tour, Archbishop Justin led a service in the hospital’s chapel with members of the Gazan Christian community, including members of the Near East Council of Churches.
After the service he joined a lunch reception to hear from the Christian community about the particular challenges they face in Gaza.
Archbishop Justin also visited and laid a wreath at Gaza War Cemetery, where 3691 British and imperial troops from battles of Gaza in April and May 1917 are buried.