Horrific attacks on medical facilities and staff in Gaza must end: UNA

As nurses and health care professionals, members of United Nurses of Alberta are appalled and alarmed by the continuing horrific attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, in particular the intentional targeting of hospitals and health care facilities by the armed forces of Israel. Most civilian infrastructure throughout Gaza – which occupies roughly the same space as the City of Lethbridge – has been destroyed. There is no safe place, as daily news reports confirm. In the words of Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, civilians in Gaza “do not have any safe space to go.”

Conservative estimates of the loss of life exceed 35,000 people, mostly women and children, with more than 70,000 people injured, many permanently disabled. Inevitably, starvation and epidemic disease are also consequences of these attacks.

The few remaining hospitals in North Gaza that had managed to continue functioning since November 2023 are now under intense airstrikes and shelling. Since May 22, all three hospitals in Northern Gaza have been inaccessible, and any remaining staff are struggling to maintain services. The special protection for hospitals, ambulances and medical personnel accorded by international law and natural justice are being ignored. As Ms. Joly also says, this is completely unacceptable.

UNA condemns the siege of Gaza and the ongoing targeting of health care workers and infrastructure. UNA demands that the Canadian Government take meaningful actions against the perpetrators. In addition to demanding an immediate and sustained ceasefire, the end of all attacks on civilian infrastructure and medical facilities, and the resumption of deliveries of humanitarian services and supplies to Gaza, Canada must respond with appropriate measures if that does not happen.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has issued a statement and made a financial contribution to Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.