Retired General’s Call for Destruction of Gaza Condemned by Health Experts

Fifteen prominent public health professionals and current and past deans of the country’s schools of public health have denounced statements by retired general Giora Eiland for writing an opinion article in Yedioth Aharonoth on November 19 that argued that Israel should let Gaza be destroyed by letting go wild. Eiland asserted that the Gazan civilian population including the wives and other family members of Hamas terrorists welcomed the takeover of the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority. In fact, most of the residents welcomed the rule of Hamas and supported its ideology of wiping out Israel. “Gaza is very much like Nazi Germany and underwent a similar process, so it’s correct for Israel to carry out the war accordingly. Gaza women are the mothers, sisters, and spouses of Hamas murderers…Epidemics in the South [of Gaza] will bring victory closer and will decrease casualties among IDF soldiers.” The retired general wrote that the way to bring the collapse of Hamas is not only to kill more terrorists while preventing a humanitarian catastrophe; epidemics in the south will bring about a faster victory over Hamas, he continued. The public health academics and physicians strongly opposed the general’s views, declaring that “we firmly assert our commitment to preserving the health of all civilian populations, even in time of conflict. Our nation is united in considering Hamas its enemy because of its charter pledged to the destruction of Israel and the unprecedented horrors it committed on October 7, including mass murder, rape, kidnappings, and torture. While protecting our soldiers is an important goal, “it cannot supersede other moral imperatives. Weaponizing health issues, as General Eiland suggests doing, is wrong. They accused Eiland of writing mistaken “facts.” Epidemics, they wrote, “know no boundaries and risk national and global health security. As professionals devoted to preventing disease and preserving health for all peoples, “we vociferously object to this statement and demand that General Eiland retract it, and more importantly, newspaper editors and responsible Israeli leaders publicly reject it and its sentiments. In the end, two peoples share this land, as well as its pathogens, and will continue to do so. Both will have to strive for a safe and healthy future for our children and future generations,” they concluded.