Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
(July 31, 2006) - A STATEMENT by over eighty Canadian health professionals, including a number of prominent medical advocates for human rights and peace, expresses deep concern over the silence of the Canadian Government and the Canadian media about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
The group is calling on the Canadian government and the media to truthfully recognize and report the humanitarian situation and to respond with compassion and effective help.
The statement details the immediate humanitarian disaster as well as the crisis that preceded the capture of Cpl. Shalit and that even antedated the election of the Hamas government in Palestine.
The Israeli pull-out of settlers in 2005 left Gaza a land in ruin, with hundreds of hectares of devastated fields, thousands of uprooted trees and wrecked homes, millions of tons of rubble rendering the land surface "airtight" and unsuitable for agriculture, with Israel still in control of the water supply and still blocking road and sea access to Gaza.
According to medical reports from Gaza and from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the population of Gaza was already physically and psychologically traumatized.
After the Israeli invasion this July, six U.N. agencies verify that the destruction of infrastructure has left the population without adequate food, water, medicine, and fuel, and vulnerable to epidemics.
The statement calls on the Canadian government to immediately restore aid to the Palestinian government to ensure that water, food, medicine and the necessities of life are immediately available and accessible in Gaza.
The statement appears below.
Spokespeople for the group:
Federico Allodi, M.D.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W.
Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.
Statement of Concern for the Public Health Situation in Gaza
As Canadian health professionals, we are deeply concerned by the silence of the Canadian government and the Canadian media about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. We are calling on the Canadian government and the media to truthfully recognize the humanitarian situation and to respond with compassion and effective help.
Even before the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 25, 2006, and even before the election of the Hamas government, the humanitarian situation in Gaza was dire.
* When the settlers left Gaza in August, 2005, the Israeli army left all of the land they occupied covered in millions of tons of rubble, rendering it unusable for cultivation. Israel continued to control all access to Gaza and continued to control water resources.According to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions (1977), the onus is on the warring state to protect the civilian population from the impact of military operations. As the occupying power, the State of Israel is bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention Articles 19 and 50 to treat humanely Gaza's wounded and sick, to protect hospitals, to protect and care for children. Article 55 states that the Occupying Power has the duty to ensure the food and medical supplies of the population. Article 56 states that the Occupying Power has the duty, in cooperation with the national local authorities, to ensure and maintain medical and hospital services, public health and hygiene. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, demand Israel's immediate compliance with the Geneva Conventions and restoration of Gaza's infrastructure.
The undersigned Canadian health professionals fear for the lives of Palestinian people. We ask the Canadian Government to demand that Israel fulfil its responsibilities as a signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention and take immediate and effective measures to provide protection of the civilian population in Gaza, to reduce severe risks to public health, and to secure appropriate medical care. We ask our own government for the immediate restoration of Canadian aid to the elected Palestinian government to ensure that water, food, medicine and the necessities of life are immediately available and accessible in Gaza.
(as of July 31, 2006)
Elia Abi-Jaoude, M.D.
Saadia Ahmad MSW RSW M.Ed
Michael Allen, M.D.
Federico Allodi, M.D.
Zalman Amit, Ph.D.
Maria Applewhite, R.N., M.P.H.
Neil Arya, M.D., Past President Physicians for Global Survival,
Rand Askalan, Ph.D., M.D.
George A. Awad, M.D.
Ahmed Bayoymi, M.D.
Warren Bell, BA MD CM CCFP, Past President, Physicians for Global Survival
Saleha Bismilla, Acting Family Home Visitor supervisor
Gary Bloch, M.D.
Irene Bond, R.N.
Stephen Connell, M.D.
Andrea A. Cortinois, MPH, PH.D. Centre for International Health University of Toronto
Minella De Souza, MBBS, FRCPC
James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Dale Dewar, M.D., CCFP, FCFP
Irfan Dhalla, M.D.
Farzana Doctor, M.S.W.
Paul Duchastel, M.D., Past President of Association des Medecins de Langue Francaise du Canada
A.F. Elzawi, M.D. cardiologist
Vivien Fellegi, M.D.
Jane Finlay-Young, Registered Health Practitioner
Sarah Freke, M.D.
Maha Gabarin, O.D.
Sharon Gazeley, M.D.
Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.
Qais Ghanem, M.D.
R.F. Gindi, M.D.
Louis Girard, M.D.
Dr. Frank Guttman
Dr. Herta Guttman
Ted Haines, M.D.
Paul Hamel, Ph.D. Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto & President Science for Peace
Kathy Hardill, RNEC Nurse Practitioner
Fred Harris, M.D.
Sameh Hassan, M.D.
Raed Hawa, M.Sc., M.D.
D.J. Hill, M.D.
Hanna Hinnawi, M.D.
Debbie Honickman, M.D.
Paul Hwang, M.D.
Seema Khan, M.D.
Haresh Kirpalani, M.D., Professor Neonatal Medicine, McMaster University
Tara Kiran, M.D.
Peggy Lathwell, M.D.
Mark Leith, M.D.
Abby Lippman, Ph.D.
Christie Maccalum, M.D.
Harriet MacMillan, M.D.
Roy Male, M.D.
Debra Mandel, M.Ed., psychotherapist
Vashti Mascoll, Primary care nurse
Gabor Mate, M.D.
Alison Miculan, M.D.
Lois Milne, Optometrist
Basem Naser, M.D.
Nancy Olivieri, M.D.
Mario Ostrowski, M.D.
Reem Abdul Qadir, M.S.W. R.S.W.
Clare Pain, M.D.
Michael Potter, M.A. Medical Ethics
Elizabeth Pringle, M.D.
Jane Pritchard, M.D.
F. Rabie, M.D.
Meb Rashid, M.D., CCFP
Guillaume Rouselet, Ph.D. Neuroscientist
Manuel Rozental, M.D.
Nasri J. Sami, MB, FRCSC consultant neurosurgeon
Mounir Samy, M.D. Assoc. Professor of Psychiatry, McGill
Joanna Santa Barbara, M.D. Past President Physicians for Global Survival
Eshrat Sayani, M.D.
Fred Schloessinger, M.A. psychotherapist
Gihad Shabib, M.D., Ass. Professor Ob/Gyn Ottawa U.
Nayana Somaiah, MBBS, CCFP
Christina Stonehouse, R.N.E.C. Nurse practitioner
Jim Sugiyama, M.D.
Tanya Suvendrini Lena, M.D., MPH
Teresa Tran, M.D.
Wahida Valiante, M.S.W.
Cheryl Wagner, M.D.
Scott Weinstein, R.N.
Judith Weisman, psychotherapist
Gordon Yanchyshyn, M.D.
Tanya Zakrison, M.D. Chief Senior Resident University Health Network
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