Portuguese / Spanish / English

Healthcare workers slam Israel's 'deliberate dehumanisation' of Palestinians

Palestinian press members and health workers gather for a celebration after "mutual and simultaneous" cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas took effect at 2 a.m. Friday (2300GMT Thursday), ending the 11-day conflict, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 21 May 2021. [Abed Zagout - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian press members and health workers gather for a celebration after "mutual and simultaneous" cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas took effect at 2 a.m. Friday (2300GMT Thursday), ending the 11-day conflict, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 21 May 2021. [Abed Zagout - Anadolu Agency]

Healthcare workers from around the world have signed a letter condemning Israel's deliberate dehumanisation and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

"Our colleagues have been killed and high precision weaponry has been used to target healthcare facilities," they said.

The letter highlighted that Dr Ayman Abu Al-Auf head of internal medicine and Dr Moein Ahmad Abu-Al Aloul head of neurology at Gaza's main hospital, Al-Shifa, were killed in the same bombing raid.

"As healthcare workers, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they are confronted by the destruction of their homes and evaporation of their hopes," they continued.

"Al-Shifa is the only facility capable of high level emergency care in Gaza, and had each of its access roads bombed so no ambulance can reach it. At least six other hospitals have been targeted."

"None of this is new, Gaza has been strangled by an Israeli blockade since 2006," they said, adding: "Faced with the current round of violence, there is nowhere for Gazans to flee to."

Occupation not only dehumanises the victim, it also brutalises the occupier. We see this in the trauma of the young recruits to the Israeli army, who have been damaged by a policy of enforced racism which in turn is eating away at Israeli society.

"We urge our colleagues not to self-censor on these issues but to speak out. We cannot rely on the international community to effect a change. We must stand together and advocate for it."Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Swee Ang, was among the 1,500 signatories to the letter within the first 24 hours.

Read the full text of the letter below or view the letter and the full list of 1,620 signatories here:

Dear Editor,

As healthcare workers, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they are confronted by the destruction of their homes and evaporation of their hopes. In the face of the international community's silence, we condemn Israel's deliberate dehumanisation and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Our colleagues have been killed and high precision weaponry has been used to target healthcare facilities. Dr Ayman Abu Al-Auf head of internal medicine and Dr Moein Ahmad Abu-Al Aloul head of neurology at Gaza's main hospital, Al-Shifa have been killed in the same bombing raid. Al-Shifa is the only facility capable of high level emergency care in Gaza, and had each of its access roads bombed so no ambulance can reach it. At least six other hospitals have been targeted.

None of this is new, Gaza has been strangled by an Israeli blockade since 2006. The third most densely populated area on earth, home to over 2 million people, has already suffered devastating assaults in 2014 and 2018. In the words of the UN Secretary General, "the closure of Gaza suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impedes reconstruction efforts. It is collective punishment." Faced with the current round of violence, there is nowhere for Gazans to flee to.

Occupation not only dehumanises the victim, it also brutalises the occupier. We see this in the trauma of the young recruits to the Israeli army, who have been damaged by a policy of enforced racism which in turn is eating away at Israeli society.

We urge our colleagues not to self-censor on these issues but to speak out. We cannot rely on the international community to effect a change. We must stand together and advocate for it.

To the people of Palestine, we say: we see you. You are not forgotten. You are not erased.

Signed by over 1500 healthcare workers in 24 hours.

 

Dr Perviz Asaria, Cardiologist, London
Dr Nida Yasin Suri, Emergency Physician, London
Dr Swee Ang, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Sabra Shatilla, Gaza & UK
Dr Ayaan Farah, Medical Registrar, London

Palestinian father tells his only baby: 'No one remained with me except you' 

UPDATE: This article was updated on 26 May 2021 at 08:39GMT to include the full text of the letter.

Categories
Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUK
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments