As health workers, we are appalled by the situation in Palestine and are deeply concerned by the threat to life.
Two million people live in Gaza, an area the size of the Isle of Wight. This makes it one of the most densely populated areas in the world where 43.5 percent of the population is under 14 years old.
Gaza has suffered decades of restricted access to essential services due to a military occupation and is effectively an open-air prison which is now being reduced to rubble. People cannot get out. Water and electricity are being cut off. International law is being broken repeatedly.
It is impossible for millions of people to move out of north Gaza, as the Israelis are demanding, to avoid indiscriminate bombing. Even if they did all move, this would lead to significant health risks from over-crowding. Both the bombing and the mass movement will lead to a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions.
As well as Gaza, access to essential services have been restricted by Israeli check points in other parts of occupied Palestine. We have information that In the West Bank town of Abu Dis just outside of East Jerusalem, critically ill patients are being refused permission to pass through Israeli check points in order to get to hospital.
We are in contact with health workers in the Abu Dis Health Clinic. A patient with a heart attack and a patient with a gunshot wound were not allowed through to hospital. The only treatment available to them was from a GP.
Israeli check points restricting freedom of movement within occupied Palestine are a daily feature endured by Palestinians. Journeys that should take fifteen minutes often take up to two hours. This means that patients often die before reaching hospital, even during times of “peace” if they are let through at all.
Restricting access to critical health care is a crime against international law and should not be countenanced in any circumstances.
Ambulances must be allowed unhindered through all Israeli checkpoints to prevent the needless deaths of Palestinians who would survive if they could be transferred to hospital quickly. Israel, as the occupying power, has the responsibility to allow access to essential services. By breaching this, it is responsible for further loss of life.
Let the ambulances through! Stop bombing Gaza!
Support grows for NHS workers bloc on Palestine march in London
NHS workers are planning to join Saturday’s Palestine march in London as a contingent to express their fury at Israel’s bombing of al Ahli hospital in Gaza. A Whatsapp group for health workers in support of Palestine was launched on Wednesday morning and now has 700 people on it.
If you are a health worker and want to join the block, meet on Saturday at 11.30am at the Marble Arch Fountains, in central London. See maps.app.goo.gl/DER8J24BRy2abvCL9 for precise location. Please bring banners, and wear medical or health attire if you can or want to.
Also please spread the word and join this group (chat.whatsapp.com/EBp6H78OSAw7yInTQvUt46) for updates and info. It’s only for people who are intending to come to the London protest on Saturday.Original post