On October 13, 23 hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip and Gaza City received forced evacuation orders from the Israeli army. Since then, hospitals continue to receive phone calls from the Israeli army pressuring them to comply. These hospitals provide life-saving treatment for more than 2,000 patients and serve as the sole safe haven for tens of thousands of internally displaced families. Amid the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing the Gaza Strip, these forced evacuation orders are virtually impossible to implement as transferring patients across destroyed areas and without fuel is an unreasonable prospect. If implemented, these “evacuations” will lead to the complete collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system. They will also constitute, in the words of the World Health Organization, a “death sentence” against those with serious wounds or illnesses. The Israeli authorities must rescind these orders and ensure the protection of healthcare facilities as required under international humanitarian law.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 100.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Minister of Defence
Mr. Yoav Gallant
Ministry of Defense,
Email: [email protected]
Mr. Yoav Gallant,
I am writing to urge you to immediately rescind the forced evacuation orders you issued to hospitals in northern Gaza and in Gaza City and to ensure unconditional protection of patients, health workers and the tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking shelter in these hospitals and their premises.
Hospitals in northern Gaza and Gaza City are already overloaded with patients and are struggling to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s incessant bombardment and exacerbated by Israeli authorities’ decision to tighten the existing blockade by cutting Gaza off from electricity, fuel, water and medical supplies. These hospitals are treating hundreds of wounded each day, in addition to pregnant women, babies in incubators and severely ill patients, forcing doctors to operate in corridors and tents outside the premises. As the fuel reserves are running out and electricity cuts are more frequent, the lives of thousands of patients are at imminent risk.
While Amnesty International is still investigating the October 17 attack on the al-Ahli Arab Baptist hospital, it has already verified that this very hospital had been deliberately targeted by two Israeli artillery shells on October 14. And on October 22, the Israeli army sent a new warning to Al-Quds hospital, run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to evacuate and on the same day proceeded to bomb the vicinity of the hospital.
In light of the imminent danger to the life of tens of thousands of patients, displaced civilians and health workers, I urge you to immediately rescind the order and ensure that health facilities, health workers, patients, and IDPs are protected against attacks, as required by international humanitarian law.