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Source: Aotearoa Healthcare Workers for Palestine

A letter demanding a ceasefire in Gaza signed by over 1,500 healthcare workers will be presented to the caretaker and incoming governments outside Parliament on Tuesday 21 November at 4:30 pm.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, healthcare assistants, midwives and others working in hospitals and community health settings around Aotearoa express their grave concern for the Palestinian people facing systematic, indiscriminate and relentless violence at the hands of the State of Israel.

“A humanitarian catastrophe, worsening by the minute, is unfolding right before our eyes.  We call on the New Zealand government to take immediate action to address the dire situation “, says spokesperson Dr Tellawi.

International humanitarian and human rights organisations condemn the bombardement and signal evidence for war crimes being committed. Hospitals, health centers, schools, refugee camps, places of worship, residential buildings and ambulance convoys are being deliberately targeted by ground, air and sea.  

“We are shocked to see our colleagues in Gaza being killed in the line of duty, being held under siege in hospitals with dead bodies piling up.  We despair knowing colleagues are having to operate by torch light without anesthetic and increasingly having no choice but to leave their patients to die because they are deprived of the resources they need to save lives” says Dr Tellawi.

Save the Children report the 4,104 Palestinian children killed since 7 October is more than the annual number of children killed across all conflict zones since 2019. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently described Gaza as a “graveyard for children”.

“The number of children being indiscriminately killed and dying because of the health system collapse is unconscionable” says Dr Tellawi.

The blockade on clean water, food, medicines, and fuel to operate bakeries, desalination and water treatment plants means that Palestinains, in addition to the cataclysmic military assault, face a dire public health catastrophe with spreading infectious diseases, malnutrition and starvation.

“Health workers demand that the caretaker and incoming governments call for:
1. An immediate ceasefire in Gaza to end Israeli bombing and military attacks
2. Sufficient and effective humanitarian corridors to allow aid and fuel to enter Gaza immediately
3. The protection of healthcare workers and civilians in Gaza, demanding accountability from Israel for their actions
4. A UN peacekeeping force in Gaza to protect the Palestinian civilians”

“We are also very concerned at the escalating violence in the occupied West Bank with mounting military raids, detentions and killings of Palestinians.  Hospitals and ambulances are fast becoming military targets there too” says Dr Tellawi.