A Call to Action: An Open Letter From Global Health Professionals

Signed By Over 3000 Global Health Professionals


  • Social Medicine Social Medicine - Medicina Social


The world is alight with horror, grief, and rage. In the last 34 days, we witnessed the mass killing of civilians and numerous violations of international law. The October 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel resulted in the deaths of 1400 Israelis.[1] Since then, over 10,818 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, and 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank.[2] These events occurred in the context of the decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories.[3] This escalation of hatred and violence needs to stop. We can and must do better to uphold human rights, health, and wellbeing through coordinated, immediate actions.[3,4]

The clarion call of the global health movement is to act for humanity regardless of borders or identity. [5] As global health professionals, we strive for health, human flourishing, equity, peace, justice, and the end of colonialism in all its manifestations. We also unequivocally condemn violence against Indigenous peoples globally.[6]

Author Biography

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UN OCHA. Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #15. 2023. Accessed 20 October 2023. Available at: https://www.ochaopt.org/content/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-15

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #34. Last accessed November 10 2023.


Smith J, Kwong EJL, Hanbali E, Hafez S, Neilson A, Khoury R. Violence in Palestine demands immediate resolution of its settler colonial root causes. (In publication, BMJ)

Medact. End the bloodshed: Medact statement on Palestine. 2023. Available at: https://www.medact.org/2023/blogs/end-the-bloodshed-medact-statement-on-palestine/

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World Health Assembly. Resolution on the Health of Indigenous Peoples. 2023. WHA76.16. Available at: https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA76/A76_R16-en.pdf

Chapagain J, Mardini R. Joint Statement from Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC and Robert Mardini, Director General of the ICRC, on the escalation of hostilities in Israel and Gaza. October 16 2023. Accessed 19 October 2023. Available at: https://blogs.icrc.org/ir/en/2023/10/joint-statement-from-jagan-chapagain-secretary-general-of-the-ifrc-and-robert-mardini-director-general-of-the-icrc-on-the-escalation-of-hostilities-in-israel-and-gaza/

Christou, C. Unconditional humanity needs to be restored in Gaza. 17 October 2023. Accessed 19 October 2023. Available at: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/latest/unconditional-humanity-needs-be-restored-gaza

World Health Organization. WHO statement on attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital and reported large-scale casualties. 17 October 2023. Accessed 19 October 2023. Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/17-10-2023-who-statement-on-attack-on-al-ahli-arab-hospital-and-reported-large-scale-casualties

OHCHR. Israel/occupied Palestinian territory: UN experts deplore attacks on civilians, call for truce and urge international community to address root causes of violence. 12 October 2023. Accessed 19 October 2023. Available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/10/israeloccupied-palestinian-territory-un-experts-deplore-attacks-civilians

UN News. Gaza: Forcing patients to flee hospitals a ‘death sentence’ warns WHO. 14 October 2023. Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/10/1142347

Dwoskin E. A flood of misinformation shapes views of Israel-Gaza conflict. 2023. Washington Post. Accessed 19 October 2023. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/10/14/propaganda-misinformation-israel-hamas-war-social-media/

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It. 2021. NYU; New York. Available at: https://www.stern.nyu.edu/experience-stern/faculty-research/fueling-fire-how-social-media-intensifies-u-s-political-polarization-and-what-can-be-done-about-it

McGreal C. The language being used to describe Palestinians is genocidal. The Guardian. 16 October 2023. Accessed 20 October 2023. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/16/the-language-being-used-to-describe-palestinians-is-genocidal





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