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Faculty of Public Health statement on violence and humanitarian crisis in Israel and Palestine

Following the recent escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, FPH joined domestic and international health and medical organisations in issuing a statement calling for the protection of civilians, healthcare workers, and health systems across the region.

Since this time, violence in the region has continued with casualties mounting and a severe humanitarian crisis unfolding.

As a diverse group of public health professionals, many of whom have ties to the region and have been personally impacted by the ongoing violence, the primary concern of our members is the protection of health.

The fundamental principles of public health, to protect and improve health, cannot be realised in the region whilst the conflict continues to impact on civilian populations.

Whilst a peaceful cessation of hostilities is the only way to prevent the ongoing impact on populations, particularly important is the protection of health infrastructure including access to hospitals, medication, basic resources and sanitation, and the safety of healthcare professionals.

Public health is concerned with a humanitarian approach to health, and the Faculty calls on the international community to support aid to populations in desperate need, whilst preventing any targeting or destruction/attacks on health systems or civilians, including hostages.

Members of the Faculty of Public Health, including those who sit within our Global Violence Prevention Special Interest Group and the Disasters and Humanitarian Response Special Interest Group, stand ready to assist international partners with evidence-based public health expertise and guidance to protect health across the region.

With reports of racially motivated attacks rising at this time of great hurt for communities across the UK and around the world, the Faculty calls for constructive dialogue across faiths and cultures.

We also seek to support those Faculty members whose wellbeing has been impacted, either directly or indirectly, by the violence. We urge compassion and respect amongst colleagues during a time which is distressing for many in our global community.

Should members wish to donate to humanitarian efforts in the region, they may do so via British Red Cross.

Published 24 November 2023

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