Israel-Hamas conflict: a call for peace in support of the Gaza population, where women and children are paying the highest price

In consideration of the awful situation created by the Hamas terroristic attack, with numerous civilians killed and injured and taken in hostage, and the subsequent terrible massive Israeli attack to Gaza and the domino effects in West Bank territories and in the Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and the area controlled by Hezbollah, the health of thousands of people is in serious danger. We received, and we are pleased to publish, a Letter from professor Foad Aodi, President of the Association of foreign physicians in Italy (AMSI), the Euro-Mediterranean Medical Union (UMEM) and the ‘United to Unite’ Movement, present in over 100 countries all over the world. The responsibility for the content of this article lies solely with the author.

Foad Aodi


To the Editors,

The Association of foreign physicians in Italy (AMSI), the Euro-Mediterranean Medical Union (UMEM), the Community of the Arab World in Italy (Co-mai) and the international movement ‘United to Unite’ (Uniti per Unire) continue to follow the health and humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank with their local medical representatives, who provide us with continuous news and updates.

Approximately 75% of the deceased are children and women. Currently, 23 hospitals and 50 primary care centers are closed due to a lack of fuel. There is a rising incidence of infectious diseases, including scabies, cholera, and gastrointestinal diseases, with 33 thousand cases of diarrhea attributed to contaminated water and food. Nearly 80% of the dialysis machines are located in northern Gaza. The Jerusalem Hospital in Gaza and 71% of primary care centers have been closed. More than 200 doctors and healthcare workers have lost their life, and 130 have sustained injuries. Additionally, 53 ambulances have been destroyed.

The health and humanitarian situation is dire: everything is lacking. Doctors are unable to treat the wounded due to a lack of essential resources (fuel, surgical instruments, lighting, drugs) and an insufficient number of doctors and nurses. The healthcare staff only meets 25% of the hospitals’ needs. Often hospitals are unable to provide treatment for injured individuals, and doctors must prioritize the most critical cases in an effort to prevent their death.

There is a shortage of drugs for chronic patients, including those undergoing dialysis. Urgent health corridors are needed for Gaza, and there is also a need to treat the injured in European hospitals, specifically in Pediatric Surgery, Orthopedics and Traumatology, Neurosurgery, Cardiac Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Gynecology. Minister Tajani has already confirmed Italy’s availability to provide support in this regard.

Numerous mass graves have been created inside hospitals and homes to prevent the escalation of infectious diseases and cholera. The great majority of victims are children, women and disabled elderly individuals. To date, there have been more than 11,300 deaths, of which 4,630 are children and 3,130 women. Additionally there are 30,000 injured individuals, 70% being women and children, and 3,000 are reported missing. In the West Bank, more than 183 people have lost their lives, and 2,500 have been injured (data provided by UMEM).

The percentage of spontaneous abortions and premature births among women is increasing by 40% due to fear, stress, physical fatigue, and a lack of healthcare. Unfortunately, numerous women and newborns have died due to a lack of assistance, continuous bleeding, and the absence of electricity in intensive care units. Although doctors and nurses manually ventilate children in intensive care, a considerable number of children have recently died due to the power outage.

The percentage of orphaned children, who have lost all their family members and parents, has increased by 40%. At the same time, the percentage of psychological disorders, anxiety, fears, phobias, and continuous crying among children has surged by 75% (data provided by UMEM).

We express our gratitude to the Italian Government, specifically Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano, for coordinating the aid being sent to Gaza via the Vulcano hospital ship. We persist in calling for an international conference for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in Rome, reiterating our appeal through various channels, including TV and direct Facebook interviews with representatives of the Jewish communities. Our approach remains the two-track policy: providing health and humanitarian aid on one hand, and advocating for peace and dialogue on the other. We firmly believe that lasting results can only be achieved through peaceful means, not through the use of weapons.

Moreover, through interviews on various TV and radio stations as well as in Arab newspapers, we have issued an appeal to all Italian, Arab, and foreign healthcare professionals in Italy and Europe. This appeal is particularly directed towards those specializing in war emergencies, urging them to support their local Palestinian colleagues, children, and women. We are pleased to note that many have responded to our appeal. Now, let’s translate this support into tangible assistance, especially for those at risk of death and women who “die in two” during pregnancy.

Received November 16, 2023

Foad Aodi


Adjunct Professor at the University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy