By Kouthar Sambo
A group of healthcare professionals has signed an open letter condemning the human rights violations against the Palestinians.
This comes after the Israeli forces deliberately continued to bomb hospitals and arrest nurses and doctors in Gaza.
The open letter is addressed to Health Regulatory Bodies of South Africa and Institutions of Higher Education.
Speaking on VOC’s Drive Time show earlier today, a Specialist Neurologist and medical volunteer with the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, Aayesha Soni, said the letter was sent out to all healthcare workers, and the total number currently stands at 1 280 signatures.
“We stand at 38 professors (and head of departments), 875 doctors, 275 specialists, and then a bunch of allied health professionals. What we are saying is very clear, and it echoes the sentiments of healthcare workers across the globe,” explained Soni.
“It is ridiculous that healthcare workers and facilities are being actively targeted by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and we have not seen such a magnitude of targeting of these facilities in any war or modern-day era. It is totally unacceptable as it is against international laws,” proclaimed Soni.
This is not a discussion of whether or not it should be allowed, expressed Soni, and yet Israelis continue to do this with impunity.
“The Israeli forces are systematically taking away the healthcare system under support of the Palestinian people in Gaza, which is not just cruel and a violation of human rights but really just vile,” asserted Soni.
“The time has come for our Health Regulatory Bodies of South Africa, of whom we are all members, to speak out against the inhumane acts of the Israeli forces as this goes beyond politics and any religious sentiments,” maintained Soni.
Furthermore, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recorded at least 250 attacks on healthcare in Gaza, resulting in 521 deaths and 686 injuries, including 16 deaths and 38 injuries of health workers on duty, cited Soni in a statement.