Nurse leaders condemn unlawful bombing on Gaza hospital
Nursing leaders call for an end to unlawful bombing of civilians and healthcare workers in the Israel and Hamas conflict, saying: ‘Nurses must not be a target’
Nursing leaders from the UK and around the world have joined together to condemn bombing of nurses, healthcare workers and patients following at explosion at a hospital as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues.
Nurse leaders call for safe passage for healthcare workers in Gaza
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) condemned the bombing of the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital – also known as the Baptist Hospital – in Gaza in ‘the strongest possible terms’ after hundreds of people were killed following air strikes on 17 October. Both the Israeli military and Palestinian militants deny responsibility for the blast.
The ICN, along with the RCN and Trades Union Congress (TUC), called for the UK government to support urgent agreements to uphold international law and open humanitarian corridors to allow safe passage of healthcare workers and the protection of civilians.
‘All people who provide healthcare and the people they serve must not be a target as recognised by international law,’ said ICN chief executive Howard Catton.
‘We deplore the violence and bombings which have caused so much death and destruction; we stand in solidarity with the nurses on the front lines; and we call for peace and reconciliation.’
Hospitals in Gaza ‘at breaking point’ as they are forced to ration electricity
The TUC said it is seriously concerned after the World Health Organization described the health system in Gaza as being at ‘breaking point’ with hospitals forced to ration electricity with limited access to clean drinking water and an acute shortage of medical supplies.
Meanwhile the RCN called the bombing ‘horrific’ and said that all nurses should be able to work ‘without fear or violence’.
RCN chief nurse Nicola Ranger said: ‘We continue to watch the unfolding events in Israel and Gaza in horror. This week, we have seen more abhorrent, inhumane atrocities committed against civilians and now healthcare workers.
‘Nursing staff and their colleagues have been killed or injured while working in desperate circumstances trying to care for patients and provide continued access to treatment.
‘Under the Geneva Conventions the killing of civilians is prohibited and the sick and wounded must be cared for. Nursing staff must be able to work without fear of violence.’
Support for nurses during fraught time
Professor Ranger added that at this ‘emotionally fraught time’, with many different views on the conflict, members are reminded to be respectful of their colleagues and continue to work within the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code of conduct.
The RCN reaffirmed that support services were available to all members 24/7 for anyone struggling in relation to the conflict.
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