The BMA is deeply concerned about the horrific events in Israel and Gaza and the devastating loss of life.
The Hamas attack which began on Saturday 7 October 2023 is a clear violation of international humanitarian law and the BMA condemns it in the strongest possible terms. The targeting of civilians by Hamas is unacceptable under the Geneva Conventions; such action is never justified. The taking of civilian hostages is similarly denounced by the Geneva Conventions and they must be released post-haste.
The BMA is also alarmed by the Gaza siege by Israeli forces, which has led to numerous civilian deaths. The denial of access to food, water, electricity, and medical supplies to roughly two million people in Gaza is a breach of the Geneva Conventions and cannot be countenanced; the principle of medical impartiality must be respected. Medicine should never be used as a bargaining chip in any conflict. A humanitarian corridor must be established.
The BMA urges all sides in this conflict to demonstrate restraint. International humanitarian law must be respected as must the principle of medical impartiality. Doctors on the ground must be able to provide vital medical care without being targeted, and we stand in solidarity with our medical colleagues who continue to care for the rising numbers of injured in the most difficult circumstances.
Thousands have already lost their lives on both sides of this conflict and all reasonable effort must be made to ensure the casualty list does not rise higher.
Our thoughts are with those who have lost friends and loved ones during this crisis. We would highlight that any abuse targeting British Jews and Muslims, and Israelis and Palestinians within the UK, is unacceptable.