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Demand end to Gaza health worker attacks, 600 GPs urge Government

Demand end to Gaza health worker attacks, 600 GPs urge Government

Hundreds of GPs have signed an open letter to the Government expressing their ‘deep concern’ about the ‘catastrophe unfolding on the Gaza Strip’, including the destruction of healthcare facilities. 

The letter, written by trade union Doctors in Unite and signed by more than 1,500 doctors including 600 GPs, called on the Government to ‘demand from the Israeli authorities that they cease forthwith all attacks’ on hospitals and release ‘immediately all detained health workers’.

It renewed a call – made by 600 UK legal experts last month – for the Government to ‘work actively and effectively to secure a permanent ceasefire in Gaza’ and to take ‘all available measures’ to ensure safe access to medical assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.

It also cited the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians which reported that 490 Palestinian health workers ‘have now been killed’, while hundreds have been detained, ‘with reports of many being tortured’.

The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister and health and foreign secretaries, said: ‘As a group of UK-based doctors and medical academics who are committed to upholding the protections offered to all healthcare workers by the Geneva Convention, we are alarmed and express deep concern about the catastrophe unfolding on the Gaza Strip, including the systematic destruction of hospitals and healthcare facilities.

‘We call on you to demand from the Israeli authorities that they cease forthwith all attacks on healthcare facilities and health workers, and release immediately all detained health workers currently held in detention by the Israeli authorities.’

Doctors in Unite chair Dr Coral Jones said: ‘Since we drafted the letter the situation in Gaza has deteriorated even further.

‘We appeal to the Government to stand by its international obligations and intervene as a matter of the utmost urgency.’

Dr Omar Abdel-Mannan, president of Health Workers for Palestine, a group that describes itself as a ‘collective of UK healthcare workers organising for Palestinian liberation’, said: ‘The situation could not be more desperate for the hundreds of thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, who are starving, injured and unimaginably traumatised. This genocide must end.’

Last month, pro-Palestine healthcare workers blockaded the entrance to NHS England’s headquarters demanding an end to ties with US tech giant Palantir, which they claimed supports the Israeli government.

And Pulse exclusively revealed that the GMC has seen a ‘high volume’ of complaints relating to comments doctors have made online about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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