The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is shocked by yet another humanitarian and health crisis in the region, and stands in full solidarity with all the people affected by conflict.
A month to the day since the war in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory exploded, EPHA stands by its members and partners and calls for an immediate cessation of violence and protection of people’s health, as well as for resolute protection of healthcare workers and facilities.
It is shocking that, instead of investing in health and equity, we still invest so heavily in wars and destruction. It is unacceptable that we still have to fight for health as a fundamental human right.
It is outrageous that in the third decade of the third millennium, 1,400 people were killed and thousands injured in Israel last month, with over 240 taken hostage, and tens of thousands displaced.
It is beyond comprehension that in the last month in Gaza 10,500 people have been killed, 23,000 have been injured, and 2.2 million have been cut off from food, water, medicines, electricity and fuel.
It is unacceptable that 1,5 million Palestinian civilians and 0,8 million Israeli civilians are displaced because of the conflict.
There is also no excuse for more than 100 attacks on healthcare facilities and healthcare providers.
The region by affected conflict faces an immediate public health crisis, with a domino effect on people’s physical and mental health, and with especially heavy consequences for the most vulnerable – those suffering from chronic conditions and tens of thousands of pregnant women in desperate need of prenatal and postnatal care among them.
As a European member-led organisation made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals and disease groups, EPHA joins the call of the Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee:
- for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire;
- for safe and swift distribution of humanitarian and medical aid to those in need;
- for respect of international humanitarian and human rights law;
- for the immediate release of all civilians held hostage;
- for protection of civilians and infrastructure they rely on.
EPHA stands in solidarity with all who are suffering and who are directly and indirectly affected by war. We deplore the many acts of hate and discrimination based on ethnicity and religion, whether it be anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, as reactions to the tragic events unfolding in the region. We firmly stand against war as the ultimate enemy of people’s health.