More than 8,000 medical workers in the UK have signed an open letter denouncing the Department of Health and Social Care’s “unilateral expression of solidarity” with Israel as “totally unacceptable.” The letter went public on October 16.
On October 13, the DHSC had issued a statement declaring, “We are flying the flag of Israel at the Department of Health and Social Care in London. We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel.”
The letter notes that this statement was made “despite UN Experts stating that Israel’s actions against Palestinians in Gaza violate international humanitarian law which constitute war crimes.”
By that time, the Israeli armed forces had already killed over 2,200 people in the enclave, including 724 children, and injured close to 9,000. A week later, there are now over 5,000 dead in Gaza, including over 2,000 children, and more than 15,000 wounded.
The letter is a powerful indictment of the crimes carried out by Israel’s far-right government, with a focus on the appalling situation confronting the signatories’ fellow health workers in Gaza and their patients.
UK Healthcare professionals Open Letter to Department of Health and Social Care’s Israel Statement, published October 16, 2023 [Photo: screenshot: UK Healthcare professionals Open Letter]
Referencing the Israeli siege cutting off access to clean water, food and energy, the authors write, “This war crime not only limited the access of essentials for the day to day survival of Palestinians they also made it harder for hospitals to treat victims of the bombing campaign by the Israeli government. According to the UN this has meant that 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza are unable to access essential health services or even clean water, with 5,500 of those women due to give birth in the coming month.”