We urge an immediate halt to hostilities that have been inflicting immeasurable suffering for civilians since October 7, 2023. Targeting civilians and civil objects is a war crime and shall never be justified. The toll on civilians, including women, children, the elderly, and the injured and sick, has been exceedingly high. The tragic loss of civilian lives is truly heartrending. Our thoughts are with those suffering.
“Even wars have rules,” said Dr Ghanem Tayara, President of UOSSM International, he stresses, “Protecting civilians, in all conditions and circumstances shall be in the head and heart of any involved person, nothing justifies otherwise. Preserving the lives of civilians and civil objects, in particular, hospitals, must always be a priority. International humanitarian law must be respected and abided by unconditionally.“
UOSSM is deeply concerned about the request for civilians to move and to evacuate hospitals in a besieged territory which, the UN Secretary General described as: “extremely dangerous and in some cases simply not possible.” UOSSM is also deeply concerned with the blockade of humanitarian aid and medical supplies. The scarcity of resources for health facilities, including power, water, and medical supplies is presently posing a threat to patients’ lives and well-being, and impeding the efforts of healthcare professionals.
The safety and security of healthcare professionals and health facilities should be a top priority, the UN Secretary General said: “Eleven healthcare staff have been killed while on duty; and there have been 34 attacks on health facilities in the past few days.” That number continues to rise. A large-scale evacuation would lead to catastrophic consequences, endangering the lives of patients and healthcare personnel.
UOSSM stands in solidarity with all health and humanitarian personnel, and appeals for access to humanitarian organizations to address the escalating human suffering. The needs are immense and will continue to rise if hostilities persist. We call upon all concerned parties to exercise restraint and to adhere to the obligations of international humanitarian law.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, President of UOSSM USA said, “Our hearts go out to the innocent victims and their families. The death toll continues to rise, and so many children have been killed or injured, they always pay the ultimate price. We call on the international community to enforce international humanitarian law, and to protect civilians at all costs.”