November 10, 2023

Gaza Press Release

UOSSM Concerned with Hospital Attack in Gaza; Hundreds of Civilians Killed

Toronto, CA- UOSSM is deeply concerned with the bombing of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City yesterday, October 17, that killed hundreds of civilians, including many children. The attack could amount to a war crime according to Art 8. of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. 
Al Ahli Hospital, which was treating patients, and providing shelter for displaced Gazans, is operated, and run by the Anglican Communion and affiliated with the Anglican church. Hundreds of people, including patients, healthcare workers, and families were seeking refuge at the hospital in search of a “protected” location. It is a war crime to attack hospitals. 
Dr. Ghanem Tayara, president of UOSSM International said, “This is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, a deep stain on our humanity. We are horrified by the sheer volume of this crime. The bloodshed must cease, and the protection of healthcare facilities and civilians is non-negotiable. We stand in absolute solidarity with our colleagues in the health and humanitarian field everywhere. Hospitals are facilities for care and must be protected at all costs at all times, this loss of life must end today.”
UOSSM calls for an immediate end to the violence. We share the request of The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “…Those found responsible must be held to account.” Moreover, we assert and support the call of Switzerland demanding a full investigation into this attack.
This reprehensible act highlights the devastating impact of the ongoing violence and underlines the urgency of safeguarding the lives of civilians in conflict zones. 
Finally, we call on the international community to intervene and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in dire need. Access must be immediately granted to suppliers and humanitarian actors.
Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM Canada said, “What happened in Gaza on Oct 17th with the direct airstrike attack on the Baptist Hospital is a war crime. Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols stipulate that the sick and wounded, medical staff, hospitals, and mobile medical units, may under no circumstances be the object of attack. No hospital should be asked to evacuate their staff and patients, like what has happened in Gaza repeatedly. We stand with all doctors and nurses who must be protected to do their duties and fulfill their oaths”.

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