19th July 2014 | International Solidarity Movement| Gaza, Occupied Palestine
Hospital staff and international activists, from the U.S., Sweden, and the UK, attempted to travel to the recently bombed el-Wafa hospital, in an attempt to retrieve salvageable medical supplies.
When they arrived at the hospital it was, “still smoking from the attack this morning.” Stated U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, Joe Catron. The staff and activists were forced to retreat.
Charlie Andreasson, Swedish (ISM) activist, states, “We were waiting to get clearance from the Red Cross to go back to el-Wafa. This is urgent because without medicine, the patients cannot receive proper treatment, and coordination through the Red Cross has not been possible. ”
Previous attempts by the Red Crescent to enter the Shajaiya neighbourhood to retrieve wounded people from this area were met with live ammunition from the Israeli army. El-Wafa hospital is just outside of Shajaiya.
On July 17th, the Israeli military fired rockets and shelled the hospital, forcing patients to be evacuated to Al Sahaba medical complex.
Basman Alashi, executive director of el-Wafa hospital told ISM, “Due to the emergency evacuation we were forced to move quickly, and had to leave behind important medication, supplies are now running low.”
The embassies of the international activists were informed by the ISM, and asked to do everything in their power to fulfil their responsibility to ensure that Israel respects international law and does not target this delegation of Palestinian and international human rights defenders.
The staff and internationals may try to retrieve supplies again, for now it was impossible.