Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Visiting Gaza's Injured at the Palestine Hospital: This is the Moment for Change

Today was exhausting but productive.

Dr. Mona and I went to the Palestine Hospital in Cairo today to visit civilians injured in the Israeli attacks on Gaza. More than 200 injured children, men and women from Gaza have been transferred to hospitals in Egypt for immediately needed medical care; however thousands of injured civilians are still trapped in Gaza.

Dr. Mona spent much of the day speaking with doctors and patients at the Palestine Hospital. “Many patients have arrived at the hospital with severe burns from white phosphorous. But the doctors and hospital director also believe Israel is using new weapons. For the first time they are seeing patients who have very small injuries or entry wounds but when they do x-rays there is severe damage inside. Many of my colleagues in Gaza have also observed new types of injuries that are difficult to treat.” She added, “Unfortunately, medical workers in Gaza are too busy trying to save lives and they don’t have the time or possibility to investigate.” Israel continues to prevent international journalists from entering Gaza.
I met with four patients and say the real, human cost of Israel’s criminal attacks on Gaza. Today I spoke with a boy from Khan Younis who had both his legs amputated, along with countless other injuries to his body. More than 1000 people in Gaza have been killed, including hundreds of children.

After leaving the hospital we went on with our aid work for Gaza and purchased 5 tons of baby cereal that will feed 3000 children (6 months +) for one month. I know this aid work is important.
But it is wrong to call for humanitarian aid, a ceasefire, or rebuilding Gaza without addressing the the root of the problem. The people of Gaza need their freedom. Without the Israeli occupation that uprooted them from their homes in 1948; destroyed countless acres of agricultural land; closed Gaza's borders for imports and exports; and bombed houses, universities, hospitals, and mosques, the people of Gaza could live in dignity. They wouldn't need to wait for the international community to send help because they could provide for themselves. Now is the time for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Thank you Dr. Mona and Barbara for the work that you are doing. And thank you for the reminder that relief work, though important, is not the only work to be done. It is some times hard in times of crisis to keep root causes in sight. Much love, Meg