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Hammam Alloh

HRD, Doctor
Al-Shifa Hospital

Hammam Alloh was a Palestinian human rights defender and nephrology specialist at Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, who advocated for the right to health under Israeli occupation. During the 2023 Israeli hostilities in Gaza, he was on the front lines, treating the wounded and injured, risking his life in an extremely hostile situation. He repeatedly condemned and spoke out about the targeting of the health sector and healthcare workers.

Tragically, on 11 November 2023, Hammam Alloh was killed, along with some family members, by an Israeli airstrike on his home when he briefly left the hospital to check on his family. Despite evacuation instructions urging people to move to the south of the Gaza Strip, he adamantly refused to leave behind his patients at Al-Shifa Hospital. In his last interview with Democracy Now, he explained his stance, stating, "If I go, who will treat my patients? [...] We have the right to receive proper healthcare."

He was 36 years old, leaving behind his wife and two children, aged 4 and 5.

Human rights defenders in the OPT are subjected to acts of harassment, restrictions on freedom of movement, stigmatisation, abductions, long periods of arbitrary detention usually under administrative detention orders, illegal searches of their homes and offices and killings. Many of the violations are state-sanctioned, or if not sanctioned at the highest levels of the Israeli political and military establishment, then condoned by the ongoing policy of impunity which permeates the military and judicial system in relation to the OPT. In some instances Israeli settlers have also been the perpetrators of violence against human rights defenders.

The situation of human rights defenders in the OPT is particularly complex as they are carrying out their work in the context of the Israeli military occupation and the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) which began in 2000. People considered to be human rights defenders in the OPT include journalists, lawyers, medical workers, fieldworkers, international volunteers who act as independent observers and carry out human rights work and defenders working for economic, social and cultural rights.