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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Israel Murders Gazan Health Workers

Dees Illustration

Stephen Lendman

Israel wages genocidal wars without mercy. Even doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and other health workers are targeted. 

Civilians are as vulnerable as combatants. It's longstanding Israeli policy. 

On August 7, Amnesty International (AI) headlined "Mounting Evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army." 

Former prime minister Ehud Barak once outrageously called it "the most moral army in the world." It's a lawless, ruthless killing machine. 

As a former prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister, and chief of general staff, Barak was complicit in some of its worst crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. 

Morality is not part of its mandate. Mass slaughter and destruction are prioritized. 

AI urges an immediate investigation of Israeli war crimes. Disturbing testimonies alone from doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel reveal a snapshot of overall Israeli ruthlessness. 

According to AI's North Africa Director, Philip Luther: 
The harrowing descriptions by ambulance drivers and other medics of the utterly impossible situation in which they have to work, with bombs and bullets killing or injuring their colleagues as they try to save lives, paint a grim reality of life in Gaza.

Even more alarming is the mounting evidence that the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals.

Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes. They only add to the already compelling argument that the situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, medical workers were targeted, murdered or injured. 

Others were prevented from reaching wounded Palestinians to rush them for treatment. 

Jaber Khalil Abu Rumileh supervises Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital ambulance services. He described one Israeli shelling attack on his facility as follows: 

It was 3pm and I was working in the emergency unit. I heard bombing that shook the hospital. It was a shelling that had hit the fourth floor, the pregnancy and caesarean unit.

Then there were a few more hits. People were terrified. Patients ran out. Doctors could not enter to help the injured and remove the dead.  
Then the third floor was hit and four people were killed. I saw one women come running with the child she just gave birth to. Some women gave birth during the shelling.
Ambulance driver Mohammad Abu Jumiza is one of many Palestinian victims.

"We were on our way back to Nasser hospital, driving with the lights and sirens on as always," he said. "The ambulance was clearly marked as such." 

The doctor, nurse and I were all wearing medical uniforms. When we reached the Islamic University I heard an explosion right next to us and the front and back windows of the car fell out.  
As I was turning another missile hit next to us, and then a third one. When the fourth missile hit, I lost control and we crashed. 
So we ran out of the car and found shelter in a building. Then there were two more missiles fired and some people were injured.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), at least two of its ambulance workers were killed. At least another 35 injured. 

Seventeen health vehicles were damaged or destroyed by Israeli attacks. 

"Our ambulances are often targeted although they are clearly marked and display all signs that they are ambulances," said PRCS. 

"The army should be able to distinguish from the air that what they targeting are ambulances." They know precisely what they're targeting. 

Israel shot ambulance worker Mohammad Al-Abadlah multiple times. He bled to death. 

He was traveling in a clearly marked ambulance wearing his medical uniform. Colleagues trying to help him were also shot. 

Overall conditions in Gaza are catastrophic: 

  • entire neighborhoods destroyed or damaged;
  • entire families murdered in cold blood;
  • according to UN officials, around 450 Palestinian children killed;
  • the official Palestinian death toll tops 1,900.
  • with many bodies under rubble to be found and fatalities from grave injuries ahead, a more accurate figure easily tops 2,000;
  • as many as 10,000 wounded; some too gravely to save;
  • no power;
  • inadequate water, food, essential drugs and medical equipment; and
  • impossible to understand nightmarish human misery beyond comprehension except for Palestinians experiencing it.
Fact: Israel continues committing one of history's great crimes. Fact: Palestinian deaths and injuries mount. 

Fact: No end of conflict looms. 

Fact: The world community yawns and does nothing to help beleaguered Palestinians. 

Fact: Washington fully supports Israel's killing machine. 

Fact: US tax dollars pay for death, destruction and human misery. 

Fact: A war on truth accompanies hot war. 

Fact: Non-combatant civilians suffer most. 

Fact: The vast majority of Gazan victims are civilian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm. 

Fact: Israel considers them legitimate targets. 

Fact: Cold-blooded mass murder and destruction reflect official Israeli policy. 

Fact: Where things end, who knows! 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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