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Pro-Palestinian medical activists block entrance to NHS England HQ

In Europe
April 03, 2024

Hundreds of NHS workers holding placards that read “No Palantir in the NHS” and “Palantir aids apartheid” staged a protest outside the NHS England building.

The group were demonstrating outside Wellington House, Waterloo, claiming the software company Palantir Technologies supplies the Israel Defence Forces with military tech.

Demonstrators were heard chanting “every time the UK lies, a neighbourhood in Gaza dies” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine is almost free” during Wednesday’s action.

Harriet, an NHS accident and emergency doctor and British Medical Association member, who did not give her surname, said she did not want the company having access to NHS data.

She said: “Palantir is not only vocally supportive of genocide, and many other atrocities in the past, but they supply AI military tech to the Israeli army.

“We feel responsible to stop this deal from going through. This contract is worth £330 million, which could actually be spent on NHS services that we need, not yet another failed private enterprise.”

The Pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside NHS England

The Pro-Palestinian demonstrators want to see NHS England scrap its contract with Palantir Technologies – PA/Victoria Jones

Palantir was awarded the contract by NHS England to create a data management system called the Federated Data Platform.

The technology provided to NHS England gives real-time data on the number of beds which are occupied in hospitals and the size of waiting lists.

Campaigners claim Palantir has provided AI powered military and surveillance technology to the Israeli government

Louis Mosley, Palantir’s executive vice-president for the UK and Europe, has previously defended the company’s involvement in the NHS.

“Data security and the ability to precisely control who can see what information can be a matter of life and death,” he told the Times in November.

He said the “software enables NHS professionals to bring together data that a hospital already holds in multiple different systems that haven’t historically been able to talk to each other, while ensuring that staff only see information if they need to, in order to do their job”.

Palantir was co-founded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who was an early backer of former US president Donald Trump, and has worked with the US government.

The company has also been accused of human rights abuses by Amnesty International.

Palantir and NHS England were contacted for comment.

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