Fri 17-May-2024

Doctors in Gaza are brave warriors

Wednesday 15-November-2023

Over the course of 40 days of the ongoing continuous Israeli brutal war on the Gaza Strip which targeted hospitals indiscriminately doctors in Gaza have written an epic heroic saga that manifested in their determination to stay in their workplaces even at the cost of sacrificing their lives.

Video clips shared on social media platforms showed the story of the young doctor Hammam Al-Louh the only kidney specialist in the Al-Shifa and Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospitals who was martyred in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his house in Gaza a couple of days ago at dawn.

Activists also shared the last message of the doctor before his martyrdom when the well-known American journalist Amy Goodman asked him why he hadn’t left the hospital for a safer place in the south his response was: “If I leave who will treat the patients? They are human beings deserving of healthcare not animals.”

Al-Louh added “Do you think I studied medicine for more than 14 years to think about my own life and abandon the patients?”

No death is premature
Last Sunday two doctors (brothers) were martyred and displaced people were injured due to the Israeli occupation army’s shelling of the Al-Mahdi Hospital for Maternity in the western Gaza Strip. The two doctors Basel and Ra’ed Mahdi were martyred while performing their duties.

Three days before his martyrdom Dr. Basel Mahdi left a message on his Facebook account saying “No one will die before their time is up but some people will die lacking dignity lacking humanity lacking principles. You have failed and your Arab identity has failed you. May Allah not welcome you or forgive you.”

As for Dr. Medhat Saidam he spent all his days in the hospital treating the wounded and injured when he decided to return to his family to spend some time with them and check on their well-being death awaited him and all members of his family as their house near the hospital was targeted by Israeli shelling.

On November 8th the pharmacist doctor Iyad Shaqoura (42 years old) who works in the emergency room during the war was surprised to receive the bodies of his children mother and relatives at the hospital.

The Shaqoura family was killed in an Israeli airstrike that targeted their house in Khan Yunis southern Gaza Strip which has been relentlessly bombarded by Israel.

The doctor began listing the names of the deceased one by one: “In this strike I lost my mother and my brothers. I also lost my sister along with her 2 sons and I lost my two beloved sons Abdul Rahman (7 years old) and Omar (5 years old).”

Brave warriors who do not surrender
In another scene showcasing the resilience of Gaza doctors a video shared by Palestinian doctor Mohammed Sameer at Al-Shifa Hospital on Instagram showed him eating bread saying “It’s been a long time since I tasted bread.”

The doctor wrote in the caption of the video “We received bread and we don’t know who provided it to us. We still don’t know where it came from but it’s clear that it was baked inside the hospital.”

In the absence of electricity and fuel in the hospitals doctors resorted to performing surgeries on the wounded using the light of mobile phones as shown in widely shared footage on social media platforms.

The steadfastness of doctors in Gaza has received widespread international praise including recognition from the famous Norwegian doctor and global solidarity activist Mads Gilbert who described them as “brave warriors who do not know surrender.”

Dr. Gilbert who has volunteered to work in Gaza for 16 years shared a video from inside one of the hospitals showing the treatment of a child with burns caused by the Israeli aggression receiving treatment with minimal resources.

In the video Gilbert wrote “Gaza does not surrender. My brave colleagues at the hospital in southern Gaza are treating burned children with whatever they have like manual fans to relieve pain. There are no painkillers available due to the harsh and comprehensive Israeli blockade on Gaza. But the courageous people of Gaza do not surrender and we should not either.”

Mads Gilbert a Norwegian doctor and a prominent figure in humanitarian work gained fame for debunking the Israeli occupation’s narrative about resistance tunnels beneath Al-Shifa Hospital as well as criticizing international organizations for their failure to rescue the people of Gaza from the horrors of war.

Resilience under bombardment
On November 10th medical student and Goodwill Ambassador to the European Union Ezz El-Din Loulou posted a video on his Instagram account affirming the doctors’ resilience and steadfastness inside Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza despite ongoing Israeli attacks on medical facilities.

Lulu said “It is possible that the entire hospital will be completely bombed within hours but we will not leave except as victors or martyrs. We serve thousands of patients and displaced people inside Al-Shifa and we will not abandon them. Please forgive us.”

On Tuesday the World Health Organization stated that more than half of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip are out of service due to fuel shortages Israeli attacks and an unsafe environment.

In a statement it revealed that 22 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are no longer functioning and the remaining hospitals lack the medical supplies necessary to continue critical surgical operations and provide intensive care.

For 40 days the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza resulting in 11240 Palestinian martyrs including 4630 children and 3130 women as well as 29000 injured with 70% of them being children and women.


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