Rally for Gaza healthworkers

Healthcare workers at a rally in Melbourne. (Matt Hrkac)

Matt Hewson

A local Palestine advocacy group has called for healthcare workers to show solidarity for their colleagues in Gaza at a protest rally this weekend.

Free Palestine Geelong (FPG) will hold a rally at Little Malop Street tomorrow (Saturday, February 10) to call attention to the plight of healthcare workers in the war-torn zone.

FPG spokesperson Noor Al-Assafi called on local doctors, nurses, surgeons, allied healthcare and social workers to join in a peaceful protest.

“We encourage all healthcare workers to attend our peaceful protest and honour their courageous colleagues working and dying in Gaza,” Ms Al-Assafi said.

“Israel is waging a shameful war on hospitals and healthcare workers in Gaza, in breach of international law.”

“Gaza’s healthcare system has collapsed under the most brutal bombing campaign we’ve seen in modern history.

“Even worse, the siege on Gaza means no medical supplies are reaching Gaza, and doctors and nurses are being forced to amputate limbs and perform caesareans without anaesthetic.”

The rally will start at 12 noon at the Little Malop Street Mall, hearing from speakers before marching to Transvaal Square.

Since the conflict began in October last year, the United Nations has reported over 100,000 people in Gaza have been killed or wounded.

FPG spokesperson Yasir Ismat said the rally was intended to send a message to the Australian government to send funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency.

“At the moment there’s a blockade; aid is trickling through but it’s not enough for the nearly 1.8 million displaced people,” Mr Ismat said.

“It’s a catastrophe. We want people to pay attention to that and the government to take some action.”

Mr Ismat said he was hopeful the Albanese government would do more to help the wounded and dying in Gaza.

“The Australian government has begun changing a lot of their tone on this issue, but there is more that needs to be done to immediately enforce a ceasefire,” he said.

“The International Court of Justice clearly says it’s a plausible genocide going on. The ICJ doesn’t have enforcement power, but Australia does as a country.

“When we look back in 10 years, 20, years, what are we going to tell our children about what we did to stop this genocide?

“We talk about the Holocaust, it’s history, we were not there (to do anything about it). But we are here now, we are witnessing it.”