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An Open Letter for the People in Gaza

Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:03 By Staff, The Lancet | Press Release
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More than 20 leading doctors and scientists* from the UK and Italy denounce ongoing Israeli military aggression in Gaza in a letter to The Lancet, published today [Tuesday 22 July]. 

“On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel,” write the authors. “We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression.”

“We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.”

The letter states that tightening blockades imposed on Gaza by Israel in the last year have not only caused starvation and poverty for residents of Gaza, but have also resulted in a dangerous lack of access to medicine and healthcare. 

“Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited. Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade. They have run out now.”

“As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.”

“None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.”

“We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machine. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.”

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