500 dead: 'Mr Obama, do you have a heart?'

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500 dead: ‘Mr Obama, do you have a heart?’

by Mads Gilbert


Mads Gilbert and other doctors help a child. (Facebook under a Creative Commons Licence)

Mads Gilbert, a doctor in Gaza’s largest hospital – al-Shifa – writes an open letter as the number of deaths in Palestine rises.

Dear friends,

The last night (19-20 July) was terrible. After the ‘ground invasion’ of Gaza, there were many many Palestinians, dead, dying and injured. These were civilians, not military, of all ages, all innocent.

The people who work in the ambulances and in the hospitals in Gaza are working 12-24 hours at a time. They are so tired, it is almost impossible, and workers in the Shifa hospital have had no pay for the last 4 months. They care for the people. They try to understand what is not possible to understand: the chaos of bodies, sizes, legs and arms, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!

They are treated like animals by ‘the most moral army in the world’ (sic!).

I respect the injured so much. They want to survive in the terrible pain, agony and shock; I admire the staff and volunteers so much; I feel strong when I am close to the Palestinian sumud [steadfastness]. But sometimes, I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood – but we have no time.

Grey faces – Oh NO! Many more injured, bleeding people. We still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, lots of bloody bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, quickly cleaning the blood, hair, clothes – the leftovers from death – all taken away .... then prepared again, and repeated. More than 100 injured came to Shifa in the last 24 hours. Enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: no electricity, water, drugs, operating room tables, instruments, monitors – all old like a museum of yesterday’s hospitals. But the heroes working here do not complain. They carry on, like fighters.

And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, I cry. But they are useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!

And now, the Israeli guns and drones start again, the F16s, Arabic “Zennanis” drones, the Apaches. So much made in the US and paid for by the US.

Mr. Obama – do you have a heart? I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. You could dress as a cleaner, maybe. I am certain, 100 per cent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart AND power could ever spend a night in Shifa and not decide they must end the killing of the Palestinian people.

But the people with no hearts have done their calculations and planned another attack on Gaza.

The rivers of blood will keep running tonight. I can hear they are playing their instruments of death.

Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.

Mads Gilbert MD PhD Professor and Clinical Head Clinic of Emergency Medicine University Hospital of North Norway

Hospitals under attack

Since Mads Gilbert wrote this letter on 20 July, Israeli fighter planes have bombed Gaza’s Al-Aqsa Hospital. They killed at least five people and injured 50. They bombed the hospital on Monday afternoon - it is the fourth hospital bombed since Israel’s military began to attack on 8 July. Medical staff are planning to move the patients who are still there. But there is nowhere safe left to go.

On 17 July Israeli soldiers bombed Gaza’s El-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital. This is a specialist hospital for long-term injuries and physical disabilities. Other hospitals are full or destroyed, so they had to take these patients to Mujamma al-Sahaba al-Tibbi, a private clinic with very little equipment.

More than 500 Gazans have been killed since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2014/07/21/open-letter-gaza/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).