1st August 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
Updated August 5th:
International volunteers, along with ISM activists, are continuing to stay in al-Shifa hospital four days after it was threatened to be bombed by the Israeli military.
“From experience, we cannot trust the Israeli military to not attack during this ceasefire. Temporary ceasefire or not, we take the threat against al-Shifa seriously and we will remain inside the hospital until we’re no longer needed.” Stated Fred Ekblad, Swedish ISM activist in al-Shifa Hospital.
After the hospital received a threat by phone, they evacuated all staff and patients inside the threatened building, and were forced to move them back into the main site, although it is already near capacity with wounded men, women, and children. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of August 4th, 1865 Palestinians have been killed and a further 9536 have been wounded.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on August 2nd that at least five hospitals and 34 clinics had been forced to shut down due to damage or continuing hostilities in the immediate area. At least 15 medical and emergency staff have been killed in the line of duty, and dozens have been injured.
Al-Shifa hospital has received a phone call telling them a building of the hospital will be bombed.
At 16:30, the hospital received a call from an unlisted number, stating a building needed to be evacuated immediately.
The building is being used for overflow patients, and is directly across the road from the main hospital building. It is part of the hospital site, but building work has yet to be completed.
The hospital is now in the process of evacuating all staff and patients inside.
“I’d like to say that Israel’s threats to bomb Gaza’s largest hospital have reached a new low, but in light of it’s relentless atrocities and civilian massacres over the last 25 days, it’s hardly unexpected.” Stated Joe Catron, U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist now in al-Shifa hospital.
Since July 25th, 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.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of July 29th, there have been 34 attacks against Gazan medical facilities since this latest Israeli military assault began 25 days ago.