New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release 17 November 2023
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) says it is gravely concerned by the escalating loss of life among health care workers and other civilians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says the latest official reports show 11,078 Palestinians and around 1200 people in Israel have been killed, with as many as 4506 Palestinian children and 31 Israeli children among the dead.
“We are appalled by the current military action at Al Shifa Hospital. While patients and health workers remain in Al Shifa it continues to be a hospital with protection under International Humanitarian Law.
“We are further appalled by the attacks on health care in Gaza and the West Bank which have included hospitals, clinics, patients and ambulances.”
Ms Nuku says at least 198 health workers have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Although there are no reported casualties, we are also concerned about the 25 attacks on health care in Israel.”
She says NZNO extends solidarity with health workers everywhere and that the organisation stands with all peoples aspiring for freedom from colonisation.
NZNO has produced a statement on the conflict calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and the withdrawal of the Israel Defence Forces from all Palestinian territories.
“We want an immediate end to the siege of Gaza, and the admission of all necessary humanitarian aid, including water, food, medical equipment, and fuel.
“Civilians must be protected and all hostages must be immediately returned.”
The statement also calls for an International Criminal Court investigation into the possible crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed by the state of Israel, Hamas, and other parties to the conflict, as well as a solution to the conflict that recognises and enables the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to self-determination and sovereignty.
Ms Nuku also says she is also concerned by reports from Te Kāhui Tika Tangata the Human Rights Commission that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are increasing within Aotearoa as a result of the war in Gaza.
The statement is available on the NZNO website.
Media inquiries: Rob Zorn, NZNO Media and Communications Advisor: 027 431 2617 | firstname.lastname@example.org