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Healthcare workers protest Israeli war on Gaza, demand delivery of humanitarian aid

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - Nov 07,2023 - Last updated at Nov 08,2023

Hundreds of healthcare workers marched on Monday from the Professional Associations Complex to the office of the United Nations in Amman, in protest of the Israeli war on Gaza (Photo courtesy of JMA Facebook page)

AMMAN — Hundreds of healthcare workers marched on Monday from the Professional Associations Complex to the office of the United Nations (UN) in Amman, in protest of the Israeli war on Gaza. 

The healthcare workers condemned crimes committed by Israel against civilians in Gaza and called for “permanently” opening the Rafah border crossing in order to deliver humanitarian and medical aid to Gaza. 

Protesters held placards that read, “hospitals are not targets”, “cease fire now”, “stop genocide”, and “stop war crimes against Gaza”. They also carried photos of healthcare workers and medical students killed by Israel in Gaza over the past thirty days. 

On October 17, an Israeli air strike on Al Ahli Arab (Baptist) Hospital at the Centre of Gaza City killed at least 500 people. 

Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Friday that Israel struck an ambulance convoy transporting critically wounded patients from the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza to the Rafah border crossing. 

The courtyards of the Indonesian hospital and Al Quds hospital were also hit on the same day, according to the ministry.

It reported on Saturday that Israeli air strikes killed a total 150 healthcare workers and destroyed 27 ambulances. The ministry also revealed that 16 hospitals and 24 primary care centres in Gaza have gone out of service. 

Israeli media recently reported that 100 Israeli doctors have signed an open letter calling on the Israeli army to bomb hospitals in Gaza, claiming that they are “used by Hamas”.

Doctors in Gaza condemned this act in a video statement on Monday led by Director of Muhammad Yusuf Al Najjar Hospital, Marwan Shafiq Al Hams. 

“We as doctors are ambassadors of peace. We save lives,” Hams said, noting that Israeli doctors who signed the letter have betrayed the “noble” medical profession and “bear responsibility” if anything happens to hospitals in Gaza. 

He ended the statement by calling on the World Health Organisation and human rights organisations to hold those who signed the letter accountable.

The Jordan Times spoke with Board Member at the Jordan Medical Association (JMA) Maha Fakhoury who said that the march on Monday aimed to protest the “genocide” carried out by Israel against civilians in Gaza, in addition to condemning the “clear” targeting of healthcare workers and facilities there. 

“We are in constant communication with our colleagues in Gaza. They are are working in extremely dire conditions, and those who weren’t killed have lost loved ones,” she said. 

Fakhoury stressed that a “humanitarian crises” is unfolding in Gaza amidst the shortage of key medical supplies.

“There are wounded children with no caretakers alive, some 50,000 pregnant women with no access to healthcare, hospitals out of service, surgeries performed on hospital floors without anesthesia…” she added. 

The JMA submitted a memorandum to the UN office in Jordan at the end of the march, detailing the crimes committed by Israel against Gazan civilians and the humanitarian health risks expected to result from the war on Gaza, according to Fakhoury. 

She noted that the memorandum demanded the UN to take action in order to hold Israel accountable before the International Criminal Court for its “war crimes”.

The JMA also issued a statement on Monday, urging doctors in Jordan to boycott a number of pharmaceutical companies that announced their support to Israel. 

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