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'It's a holocaust of 2023': Healthcare workers, journalists hold vigil in London for colleagues killed in Gaza

December 30, 2023 at 1:59 pm

Healthcare workers holding banners and placards gather to hold a commemoration vigil for the healthcare workers and journalists who lost their lives in Israeli attacks over Gaza, in London, United Kingdom on December 29, 2023. [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

Health workers and journalists held a vigil in front of 10 Downing Street to pay tribute to colleagues killed by Israel in Gaza and demanded an immediate cease-fire in the ongoing conflict, Anadolu Agency reports.

Participants, including prominent figures like Omar Adel-Mannan, a pediatric neurologist, and Lemis Andoni, a seasoned Palestinian journalist, not only paid respects but urged the government to advocate for lasting peace.

– ‘Holocaust of 2023’

Adel-Mannan, who had previously worked in Gaza, delivered a stirring message to the “silent majority,” urging them to “break their silence and take action in response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.”

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“Shame on every single one of you. Because you have seen children being decimated. You have seen mutilated bodies. What more do you need? Stand up, have some courage, some humanity,” he said.

Expressing frustration with the lack of collective response, Adel-Mannan emphasized the urgency of the situation. “This is a basic humanitarian crisis. This is a genocide. This is a holocaust of 2023 because that is the reality,” he said, underlining the severity of the atrocities occurring in Gaza.

He urged the silent majority to overcome hesitations and actively contribute to efforts to address the crisis. “There are many of us, there are large numbers of us. We are safe in our numbers. When we have been attacked or threatened at work, in our homes, or in our places of worship, there are plenty of us to understand that this is a basic humanitarian crisis,” he said.

– ‘We find them as guilty as Israel’

Andoni held the British government accountable for the ongoing violence.

“We hold Mr. Rishi Sunak personally and the government of Britain to be responsible for the killing of everybody. We find them as guilty as Israel. They’re all guilty of these murders, murders of the children,” she said.

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The veteran journalist called out Western media and urged a commitment to justice. “There is no commitment to journalism without commitment to justice,” she said and criticized the distortion of facts and commended those in the Western media challenging the official narrative.

A physiotherapist named Risa, representing colleagues in Gaza, spoke with a heavy heart about the tragic toll on health care workers. “Physiotherapists have been killed since the seventh of October, some along with their whole families. They are not numbered; they are like you and I, going to work to provide the best patient care, knowing that they might not have a home to return to,” she said.

Risa emphasized the incomprehensible violence witnessed.

“I feel like I said this every single time I have spoken, every event, every rally, but the violence that we see unfolding in front of us is absolutely incomprehensible,” said Risa.

The heartfelt pleas of health workers and journalists echoed as the rally concluded, underscoring the urgent need for a cease-fire and a lasting resolution to the devastating conflict.

Since Hamas’ cross-border attack on Oct. 7, Israel has continued relentless attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 21,507 Palestinians and injuring 55,915, according to local health authorities.

Israeli authorities claimed that the Hamas attacks have killed around 1,200 Israelis.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.

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