25th July 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
International volunteers from countries including Spain, Sweden, the United states, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Venezuela have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital.
At 2:30 PM this afternoon, a press conference will be held at al-Shifa regarding the Israeli attacks on the health and emergency sector in Gaza.
According to the Gazan Ministry of Health, six out of Gaza’s 13 hospitals have already been severely damaged. One, el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital, has been completely destroyed. Two medical clinic and 12 ambulances have been completely destroyed, seven other clinics have been damaged, 12 medical staff members have been injured, and four have been killed.
Dr. Medhat Abass, Director General of the Ministry of Health told the International Solidarity Movement that, “People are terrified. No where is safe. The hospitals are not safe. The streets are not safe. Homes are not safe. The children and the wounded are not safe. Wounded people leave the bombed areas in ambulances and the ambulances are targeted and hospitals are targeted. There are no red lines.”
“Israel’s ruthless onslaught against Gaza’s hospitals, clinics, and ambulances has pushed its health care sector, already struggling under siege, to the breaking point. With deaths and injuries, including those from Israeli attacks on medical facilities, rapidly mounting, al-Shifa is a red line the world cannot allow Israel to cross.” Stated Joe Catron, a U.S. ISM activist now in al-Shifa.
“They [the Israeli military] are targeting medical facilities, the wounded, the sick, and our children, all over the Gaza Strip. They want us to know that no where is safe.” Stated Dr. Basman Alashi, the executive director of el-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital. El-Wafa was repeatedly bombed and shelled by Israeli forces, forcing the evacuation of all patients and staff on the 17th then attacked by the military once again on the 23rd, completely destroying it.
“With so many hospitals already dysfunctional due to attacks by the Israeli Occupational Forces, we are deeply concerned with how to safeguard al-Shifa Hospital. It is already overwhelmed with wounded and dying people. If Israel continues bombing, patients are going to end up on the street, as there will be nowhere else for them to go. If anything happens, let it be known that the world was forewarned and did nothing to stop this.” Stated Rina Andolini, a UK volunteer now in al-Shifa.