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UN Human Rights Office demands Israel halt violence against healthcare workers

The UN Human Rights Office urges Israel to stop killing healthcare workers in Gaza, calls for an immediate investigation, and demands accountability. Since 7 October, 500 health workers have been killed amidst systematic attacks on hospitals and medical facilities.



UN Human Rights Office demands Israel halt violence against healthcare workers
(Photo: UNICEF/Abed Zaqout)

The UN Human Rights Office has strongly urged Israel to halt the killing of healthcare workers in Gaza and to launch an immediate investigation to hold those responsible accountable, the office stated in a news release on Tuesday (25 June).

This appeal comes in response to the reported deaths of 500 health workers in Gaza since 7 October, amidst systematic attacks on hospitals and medical facilities, which constitute violations of the laws of war.

As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is obligated under international humanitarian law to maintain medical and hospital services, public health, and hygiene.

It must protect and respect the wounded, the sick, the infirm, expectant mothers, and children.

“It must also uphold its fundamental obligations under international human rights law in the occupied territory, including in relation to the right to health,” the Office stated.

The most recent health worker casualty was Mr Hani Al Ja’afarwi, head of Emergency and Ambulance Services at a health clinic in Gaza City, who was killed on 23 June 2024, as reported by the Office.

Many health workers have also perished along with their family members when residential buildings were struck by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

“Health workers have been subjected to other serious violations under international humanitarian and human rights law during this period,” the Office stated.

The UN Human Rights Office has collected credible information indicating that IDF raids on hospitals often result in mass detentions and enforced disappearances, including of medical staff.

Notable incidents have occurred at Al Awda and Kamal Adwan Hospitals in North Gaza, Al Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, and Al Amal Hospitals in Khan Younis, where health personnel, including hospital directors, have been detained.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 310 health workers have been detained by the IDF since 7 October.

Some released health workers have reported being subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment while in Israeli custody.

Tragically, two Palestinian doctors reportedly died in IDF detention due to torture and ill-treatment.

The systematic killing, detention, and enforced disappearance of health workers, coupled with the destruction of hospitals and medical facilities, have had a devastating impact on Gaza’s population.

The collapse of the healthcare system has exacerbated the suffering, particularly as communicable diseases spread rapidly, affecting children, older people, pregnant women, and individuals with disabilities.

Under international humanitarian law, hospitals, medical personnel, and ambulances must be respected and protected at all times.

Hospitals can only lose their protection if used for hostile acts, and even then, only after a warning has been given and ignored.

Medical personnel lose their protection only if they take direct part in hostilities.

“Intentionally directing attacks against medical personnel and hospitals that have not lost their protection are war crimes,” the Office stated.

The UN Human Rights Office implores Israel to cease the killing of protected individuals, including healthcare workers, and calls for an immediate, impartial investigation into these killings to ensure accountability.

Furthermore, the Office urges the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained health workers and demands that Israel uphold the absolute prohibition of torture.

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Israel do not needs statehood. It stands alone.

1000 BC history has shown that King David conquers Israel…(biblically has proven Israel was the chosen land for Isaac)

Why Palestine is begging the world to grant them a state status if they are already a state , a nation or a country?

Who stole the land of Israel and called it Judea and then rename it to Palestine? (The answer is the Romans Empire).

Last edited 16 days ago by john lim

Keep crying Palestine. Why do you support Hamas?

So if anyone is oppressed like Hamas, they behave like terrorists?

Say no to terrorism.

Isn’t this how the Nazis broke down the “fight or spirit, ” in their victims so as to terrorise them into submission?

Sooo MANY “tragic mistakes”. I’m thinking that the BIGGEST tragic mistake is the UN granting Israel statehood back in 1948. It’s a decision that needs to be revisited as part of the process in granting statehood to the Palestinians.