Health professionals hold vigil in support of colleagues in Gaza 

Health professionals held a vigil in a show of solidarity with colleagues in Gaza who they say are working in increasingly intolerable conditions.

The gathering in Lerwick this afternoon (Thursday) was held in response to an appeal for help from medics in the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, where supplies are reported to be running out.

Hospital staff say they have been struggling to cope with the number of patients, many of them children, caught up in the bombing, since Israel declared war on Hamas three weeks ago.

Paediatrician Alex Armitage who took part in the vigil said: “The ongoing bombardment, together with the cutting off of electricity, water, medical supplies and fuel has created intolerable conditions for our colleagues in the Gaza Strip.”

Dr Armitage said a surgeon at the Al-Shifa Hospital had sent out a message saying his staff were “exhausted, scared and felt powerless”. 

The surgeon appealed to colleagues in the West to use their influence to call for an immediate ceasefire.

While Dr Armitage said many of the health workers wanted to head out to Gaza to help out in person, they also recognised it was not possible.

“We feel the next best thing we can do is to put maximum pressure on the government to changes its stances and call for an immediate ceasefire and the reinstatement of medical supplies,” he added.

Israel has been carrying out airstrikes in retaliation against Hamas, which killed more than 1,400 people and kidnapped more than 200 others in a raid on 7th October.

The Israeli government claims it has been targeting Hamas infrastructure and seeking to minimise civilian deaths.

However the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began.


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