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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Democracy DOA (working conditions)


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A rush to the hospital
 
Due to a lack of ambulances, cars are used to rush wounded to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an explosion July 30 in the market in Shujayea: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2014


Israel wants to hide this, to keep us isolated from the world: Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza, 30 July 2014

Nora Barrows-Friedman: Dr. Mona, can you tell us about the situation in Gaza right now, especially after the latest Israeli missile strikes overnight and the massacre at the Shujaiya open market earlier today?

Dr. Mona El-Farra: Yes, actually, this day in the morning, the first massacre happened when the Israelis attacked one of the schools in the Jabaliya refugee camp, where twenty at least were killed and tens were injured. I lost track of numbers, but for sure the killed were twenty.

And before that, there was heavy, heavy shelling for two or three hours, then this massacre happened. Then, in the middle of the day, at the Shujaiya market, when people felt safe that there was a humanitarian ceasefire, people went to shop for a few things. 

And then they were attacked again by missiles, by the Israeli army, and seventeen at least were killed, maybe 200 were injured, and a big, big fire stayed for maybe one hour, you could see the smoke from the other end of town. Two of the health workers, emergency health workers, died in that attack too, as well as one journalist.

The situation is really very, very bad. And we have a big problem at the moment at the hospitals and medical facilities, which are in shortage of medications because the burden is high. The main hospital in Gaza, al-Shifa hospital, is receiving immediately 200 cases, the injured with different sorts of injuries. It is a big burden, it was mass casualties with a lack of essential medication and supplies, that’s why there was an appeal on the radio when this happened asking people to go to the hospital to donate blood.




Medics treat a Palestinian child wounded in Israeli shelling of UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp
: photo via Joe Catron on twitter, 30 July 2014

And we don’t have power at the moment. We don’t have water. And when we don’t have power, the generators at the hospitals will start to not function well. So an imminent humanitarian health problem is coming soon if this continues. For us, for me, working at the Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Strip, which is partnered with the Middle East Children’s Alliance, we receive every day an increasing number of patients coming from the schools, people who took shelter in the schools or with their relatives. There are very bad health conditions, and increasing numbers of infectious diseases like gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infections and skin diseases.

We are not used to this great number of patients daily, we receive between 200-250 patients coming and asking for health consultation at our center. Again, we have a diagnostic center, and the hospital, al-Shifa hospital, their equipment like the CT [scanner] has stopped working, so we receive cases at our center. Every day we receive an increasing number of injured who are in need for diagnostic procedure like the CT.

Today, I came across three cases coming for a CT. Three cases with head injuries. The first one, her name is Buthaina el-Izraia, she came to our diagnostic center with a head injury and many shrapnels all over her body besides the head injury.

And her son was next to her, this patient. She was accompanied by her son, who is a newly-graduated nurse. His name is Yousef el-Izraia, and he was crying and telling me, “My mother was watering her plants when the shrapnel hit her, and we have never ever been members of any political party or militant [group]. We are just normal people, ordinary civilians.”

This was the first case. The second story -- a child, three years old, and the name of this child is “Anonymous number six.” He came with a head injury as well. And you understand why he was “Anonymous” -- that means the child has lost its whole family, and they couldn't determine who the child is.

Another case, her name is Reem Ahmad, again with a head injury, from Nuseirat refugee camp, six years old. And again, she lost all the members of her family.

These stories are common already in Gaza, but it attracted my attention -- a human being called “Anonymous number six.” Or a woman, a peaceful woman trying to plant her flowers, trying to normalize an abnormal life, and then the result is to be hit with a head injury. And I don’t know if they will make it or not. After they come to our center, they go back to the hospital to resume their treatment.

Another story — one of our staff, she is a nurse, her name is Afaf Hussein, and this morning I heard that her daughter was killed with her three grandchildren and two of her children. I tried to call her phone several times and she couldn’t answer the phone. Her daughter was one of our volunteers a few months ago in our center.




Paramedic going to help treat and transport those with injuries, but now he wants one to help him
: photo by Dr. Saeed Kanafany, 30 July 2014

We are surrounded with death. We are surrounded with horror. We are surrounded with a lack of facilities and we try hard to help people, we try hard to help each other, but the burden is heavy and the attack is very serious, and this should stop now.

NBF: What does it mean for Palestinians in Gaza to be cut off from the outside world because of the electricity crisis, as well as being cut off from family members and loved ones and neighbors as the phone networks are going down?

ME: This is another disaster, because this is our lifeline to the outside world. For me, on a personal level, by the end of the day when I come home, I start writing. I feel that I am still alive. I still can convey the message. And not only that, we feel that maybe something worse is happening and Israel wants to hide this, to keep us isolated from the world, so nobody knows what crimes are going to happen next in Gaza.

It is frightening. It is frightening.
 
Interview with Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Middle East Children's Alliance and Palestinian Red Crescent Scociety in Gaza, 30 July 2014 (Nora Barrows-Friedman, via The Electronic Intifada)




Palestinian men move the body of journalist Rami Rayan, the victim of an Israeli air strike on a marketplace, to an ambulance in the Shejaiya neighborhood near Gaza City on July 30, 2014: photo by Mahmud Hams / AFP, 30 July 2014

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Rami Rayan, the Palestinian photographer working for a local website who was killed today in an east Gaza airstrike: photo by Hazem Balousha via twitter, 30 July 2014


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A journalist was one of the 17 were killed in the latest airstrike in east Gaza (screenshot): photo by Hazem Balousha via twitter, 30 July 2014



Those who assassinate journalists are scared of the world finding out how truly monstrous they are: photo by Dr Bassel Abuwarda, 30 July 2014
 


One of Gazan photographer Rami
Rayan's beautiful photos. He was killed in Shujaiyya today: image by Humanize Palestine on twitter, 30 July 2014



A Palestinian man gestures near the victim of an Israeli air strike on a market place in the Shejaiya neighborhood near Gaza City on July 30, 2014. At least 15 people were killed and 150 people wounded in an Israeli air strike on the market, medics said. The strike came shortly after the Israeli army said it was observing a humanitarian lull that would be in force for four hours from 1200 GMT: photo by. Mahmud Hams / AFP, 30 July 2014



Palestinian men carry the victim of an Israeli air strike on a market place to a stretcher near an ambulance in the Shejaiya neighborhood near Gaza City on July 30, 2014: photo by Mahmud Hams / AFP, 30 July 2014



A Palestinian paramedic holds the victim of an Israeli air strike at a market place in the Shejaiya neighborhood near Gaza City, on July 30, 2014: photo by. Marco Longari / AFP, 30 July 2014



Palestinian emergency personnel and civilians move the victim of an Israeli air strike on a market place to an ambulance in the Shejaiya neighborhood near Gaza City on July 30, 2014: photo by Mahmud Hams / AFP, 30 July 2014

A rush to the hospital

Victims are rushed to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an explosion July 30 in the market in Shujayea: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2014

Treating the wounded
The dead and wounded are rushed to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an explosion July 30 in the market in Shujayea during what was supposed to be a four-hour humanitarian cease-fire: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2014




This was the first martyr to arrive from the Shejaiya massacre yesterday. I don't know if his sister survived
: photo by Belal, 30 July 2014


Al-Shifa Hospital, today. Here, two operations in every room, and other injuries waiting on the floor
: photo by Belal, 30 July 2014




Al-Shifa Hospital, today. Two operations in every room, and other injuries waiting on the floor
: photo by Belal, 30 July 2014



10.40 pm, al-
Shifa Hospital. Some injuries from Shejaiya massacre today are still waiting their turn for surgery. This should tell how bad the situation is!: photo by Belal, 30 July 2014




Al-Shifa, Injured receiving emergency treatment: photo by Mahmoud Abu Hamda via Dr. Saeed Kanafany, 30 July 2014



Al-Shifa, Injured receiving emergency treatment: photo by Mahmoud Abu Hamda via Dr. Saeed Kanafany, 30 July 2014



Injured were treated on the ground. It's hard to deal with more than 200 injuries that come at once
: photo by Dr Bassel Abuwarda, 30 July 2014

Shifa Hospital
Wounded are treated at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on July 30 after an explosion went off in the market in Shujayea during what was supposed to be a four-hour humanitarian cease-fire
: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2014



Revised Version: doodle by Tom Raworth, 25 July 2014



UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness breaks down in TV interview about Israeli massacre of children in UNRWA school
: screenshot via Dr Saeed Kanafany on twitter, 30 July 2014


A poster in front of a hotel in Mumbai calls for boycott of Israeli and American brands in protest against Gaza killings. Photo: Vivek Bendre

A poster in front of a hotel in Mumbai calls for boycott of Israeli and American brands in protest against Gaza killings: photo by Vivek Bendre / The Hindu, 29 July 2014

Young victims
Medical worker, Mohammed Jameel Al Bar Bari, on July 30 finishes examining two young children who were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit a Gaza marketplace: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2014

sky writing on silver-lined cloud

Here's what those hardworking tax dollars of yours were up to today while you were busy
Feel very proud




The blood-stained hand of a Palestinian is seen as he collects human remains from a classroom inside a UN school in the Jabalia refugee camp after the area was hit by shelling on July 30, 2014: photo by Marco Longari, / AFP, 30 July 2014

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

no one knows


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Gaza bombardment

People flee bombing in the town of Nuseirat in the Gaza Strip on July 29: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2014

Three thousand people hiding for their lives from the mechano death thug army in a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip woke up to metal and fire before dawn this morning... no one knows... 


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This is Gaza right now. Wallahi, if this does not break your heart... then you are not a human: photo by EPA via Zaid Ali on twitter, 29 July 2014

Asmaa al-Ghoul: In Gaza, no one knows who will survive, Al-Monitor, 29 July 2014 (English translation by Reni Geha)

Gaza City, Gaza Strip -- No one feels the suffering of Gaza’s people except the actual victims. It seems that only the person who has been injured feels injury. Only the dead suffer in death. Only those who lose their homes experience the loss.


 

Relatives of a Palestinian man, who medics said was killed in an Israeli air strike, mourn during his funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip: photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters, 28 July 2014

The images of children being killed by tons of iron and gunpowder have become a political goal. No matter the size of our grief, it remains small compared to that of the actual victims who have been injured, have lost loved ones or no longer have a home.


jabaliya school

A Palestinian woman cries as she holds her son at a United Nations-run school in Jebalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said the school, which was
sheltering Palestinians displaced by an Israeli ground offensive, was hit by Israeli shelling on Tuesday: photo by Mohammed Salem / Reuters, 30 July 2014

What Israel is doing to the civilians of Gaza is shocking -- indiscriminate shelling and killing, destruction of entire residential buildings with occupants inside. They say that death by bombing is painless, but no one knows from where death will come. There is no safe place for you or your family. You wonder why planes and shells are trying to kill you as you sit with your family. Why are they killing your children in front of you? Killing you in front of them? Killing all of you, leaving no witness to your final moments?


Smoke rises from the Gaza power plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes, in the Nusseirat Refugee Camp, central Gaza Strip,Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. The plant’s shutdown was bound to lead to further serious disruptions of the flow of electricity and water to Gaza’s 1.7 million people. Photo: Adel Hana, AP / AP

Smoke rises from the Gaza power plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes, in the Nusseirat Refugee Camp, central Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. The plant’s shutdown was bound to lead to further serious disruptions of the flow of electricity and water to Gaza’s 1.8 million people: photo by Adel Hana / AP, 29 July 2014

Israel's intent to destroy the Dawud building, which is next to my family's house and has been bombed several times, was conveyed in a phone call to a building resident. Then the Israelis fired a warning rocket on the afternoon of July 21. Everyone in the neighborhood began screaming — nearby residents, the people in our house (from which the building can be seen), the owner of a nearby restaurant and shop.

We and the neighbors went outside and left the keys in the doors. The moment of horror is not when the missile pulverizes your body, but when you realize that it is on the way, whether after receiving notice or from the actual sound of the approaching shell.


The Associated Press

Palestinians collect body parts in a classroom at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike earlier, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. A Palestinian health official says 15 people were killed after tank shells hit the U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks. Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency, says tank shells hit the school around 4:30 a.m.: photo by Lefteris Pitarakis / AP, 30 July 2014) 

We reached a safe place. The initial shock dissipated, and our thoughts turned to the pictures and memories we had left behind in the house: babies' first steps, the drawing on the wall, my sister’s wedding party in the living room.



Palestinian relatives mourn for victims of a family near the rubble of their home after it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah: photo by Said Khatib / AFP, 29 July 2014

You think that you are ready to start over as long as no one dies, but the sadness in your heart makes you go on with your life even after having lost your child or your mother to a shell that tore them to pieces. The shell disfigures a body to the point that it becomes unrecognizable. We try to console the orphans, but do we really know how someone who lost his father or mother feels?




Palestinians collect body parts in a classroom at Abu Hussein U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike on Wednesday, July 30: photo by Lefteris Pitarakis / AP, 30 July 2014

My family sought shelter in my cousins’ home. Earlier, at the beginning of the war, my cousins had sought shelter in our home, but suddenly their home became safer than ours. In this war, it is hard to compare how safe different locations are. We ponder the mood of the fighter pilots as to which family they will target that night. For example, they warned the tower block next to us, but they bombed another one without warning, killing the al-Kilani family. There is a complete disregard for civilian life.

It is a war of religious ideologies. The bloodshed has come to be seen as for the sake of God or heaven or the Promised Land. Feelings are ignored as long as the political goal is being attained, and the religious reward is on the way. When this happens, ideology trumps humanity.


 


The mosque that I have always loved! Why!!: photo by Guess what via twitter, 30 July 2014

In the first week of the war, the media followed the story of Shaima al-Masri, 4. The only family she has left is her father Ibrahim al-Masri. Sitting next to his daughter, who lies in a bed in al-Shifa Hospital, he said, “I thought that sending my wife to her sister’s home will make her safe. But minutes later, I heard the explosion. I ran down the street, then I received a phone call that my son had been martyred. At the hospital entrance, I was told that my wife was martyred. I found my eldest daughter, Asil, in critical condition. She woke up for a few seconds and asked me where her mother was, but then she died in the operating room … I later went to where they got martyred and found that a plane had targeted them 10 meters before they reached the house of my wife’s sister.” Shaima’s mother, Sahar, her brother, Mohammed, 14, and her sister, Asil, 17, all died in an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip on July 9.



Gaza's ONLY power station hit by the IDF, an amazing act to add further misery to Gazans: photo via Dr Bassel Abuwarda on twitter, 29 July 2014

Where can children be safe? That was the question I kept asking myself as I moved my children from house to house. I was separated from my family for the first time when they decided to remain in my uncle’s house. I preferred to take my son and daughter to another place until I could find an apartment where we could again gather. I learned that some people had left Gaza for Egypt. I don't think I can do the same. I found one apartment, but its Palestinian owner doesn’t accept Palestinians, only foreigners! Such is the racism and greed that the war brings out in some people.



On the street in front of a hospital in Gaza, an injured man with his x-ray and a child wait to be treated: photo by Dr Bassel Abuwarda via twitter , 30 July 2014

If you listen to the partisan radio, you would think that our strength is equal to Israel’s. It is a high moment and the point of no return for the ideologues, whose stubbornness is equal to the blood being shed. In their opinion, what I am saying is defeatist, but it is simply natural fear for my family and sadness for the rest of the children. Words of regret can no longer heal the pain.

I finally found an apartment next to the port. I want my family to survive. I don’t know, no one knows, whether my family has survived or if we have only temporarily escaped death.

I returned to al-Shifa, looking for the wounded from the al-Salam residential building. I was informed, “There are no wounded. All of them arrived dead.” Less than a day later came the Khuza’a disaster and the indiscriminate shelling of Khan Yunis -- a new Shajaiya.




Gaza power plant is destroyed by an Israeli strike
: photo via Dr Saeed Kanafany on twitter, 29 July 2014

I entered the pediatric surgery room, where I found a child named Louay Siam, 9, entirely wrapped in bandages. His face and head were burned, but you could still see his tears. His brother Uday Siam, 12, lay in the next room with burns so severe his bones were exposed.

Their cousin Mohammed Siam said, “His mother, grandmother and aunt were preparing pies on the roof of the house. The children were playing in front of them when the Israeli jet bombed them. Nine of them died.”


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He is too beautiful and young to be dead. 258 children have been killed in Gaza
: photo by Dr Bassel Abuwarda, 29 July 2014


Abu Zeid Abu Nasser, a neighbor of the Siams, said, “Uday and Louay's father is a seller of fruits and vegetables that come from Israel. He has nothing to do with any political party … I don’t know why the plane bombed them … They've (the Israelis) gone crazy."

Abu Nasser pointed to the plastic tube in Louay’s nose that sucks the ash from his lungs. He said, “[Louay’s] condition prevents him from drinking water … He is crying because he’s thirsty.”



This is NOT the sun, it's an Israeli flare (bomb) thrown on Gaza: photo by Dr Bassel Abuwarda, 29 July 2014

In our new apartment, you can hear the sound of the sea mixed with the sound of Israeli drones crossing the sky. Israel's warships fire shells. It’s dark everywhere. The electricity has been out since Israel hit the main station on July 23. On our battery-powered radio, we heard Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas's political bureau, saying, “We will not accept a truce without achieving our conditions.” My heart sank, and I got ready for another day of counting new casualties.

Asmaa al-Ghoul is a columnist for Al-Monitor's Palestine Pulse and a journalist from the Rafah refugee camp based in Gaza




This is how Gaza looks at night without electricity and nonstop bombing: photo by Falasteen via twitter, 30 July 2014

Israel-Gaza conflict
 
Doctors at Shifa Hospital try to keep a girl breathing after she was injured in an explosion in Gaza City: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2014

An open letter for the people in Gaza: The Lancet, 23 July 2014


We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.

On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.

We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.

This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.

The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza's population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and a lack of any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.

People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway -- either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose -- we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”

Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond three nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, faces being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave by way of the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited. Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade. They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza's population is dependent on food rations from the UN.

Much of Gaza's buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.

Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.

Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.

According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.



Israel-Gaza conflict  
  work on two wounded children at Shifa Hospital after an explosion in downtown Gaza City Monday, July 28, 2014: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2014

The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70 --this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.

Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs. We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.

We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children's wellbeing.

Israel's behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.

This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.

Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.

As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported. We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world's largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1.8 million people in Gaza.

We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organisations to stop this massacre.


Paola Manduca:  New Weapons Research Group and University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Iain Chalmers: James Lind Library, Oxford, UK

Derek Summerfield: Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK

Mads Gilbert: Clinic of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromso, Norway

Swee Ang:  Barts and the Royal London Hospital, London, UK

 
On behalf of 24 signatories.




Fire at the Gaza power plant after Israeli strike. Officials say the damage could take up to one year to repair -- supposing Israel grants entry to engineers and spare parts: photo via Belal on twitter, 30 July 2014

A Palestinian hugs his father who was wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, following their arrival at the Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahia on July 30, 2014

A Palestinian hugs his father who was wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, following their arrival at the Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahia: photo by Mohammed Abed / AFP, 30 July 2014

jabaliya school attack

Palestinians in Jebalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip collect the remains of bodies at a United Nations-run school, which had been sheltering Palestinians displaced by the Israeli ground offensive.Witnesses said the school was hit by Israeli shelling. Israeli tank shells and air strikes on houses and the U.N. school in northern Gaza killed at least 43 people and wounded many others, including 20 in the school, health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said. Among the dead were a medic and an infant. An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was checking for details: photo by Mohammed Salem / Reuters, 30 July 2014

Israel-Gaza conflict

Smoke billows from the Gaza Strip: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2014