Monday, June 4, 2018

Shoot the Medics & Bomb the Hospitals

Unfortunately, Israel's murder of Gaza nurse Razan an-Najjar is not a first. In fact, since the Gaza protests began on March 30, it has been open season for Israeli snipers on Palestinian medics:

"While Israel has drawn criticism over its 'excessive' and 'disproportionate' use of force that has killed at least 114 unarmed Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 13,000 since March 30, many have also drawn attention to the Israeli army's targeting of medical personnel. During mass demonstrations on May 14, 17 medical personnel were injured by Israeli live ammunition, and one paramedic [Musa Abuhassanin] was killed, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health. Seven ambulances were damaged that day... Since the start of the Great March of Return movement on March 30, 238 health personnel and 38 ambulances have been affected, according to the World Health Organization. According to a new report by Safeguarding Health in Conflict, a coalition of NGOs, among the countries experiencing the highest number of attacks on healthcare, the occupied Palestinian territories is second only to Syria." (Palestinian medics struggle to provide healthcare amid attacks, Mersiha Gadzo,, 29/5/18)

This, of course, should surprise no one familiar with modern Palestinian history. Targeting Palestinian (and other) health workers, patients, and facilities has always been a Zionist specialty. Take Israel's bloody siege of West Beirut in July 1982, for example:

"In West Beirut an orphanage, a home for the disabled and a mental home were all bombed. The children's hospital at the Sabra camp was hit and patients were killed; the Gaza hospital at the Bourj al Barajneh camp was bombed, and so were the 'Akka Palestinian hospital, the American hospital near the American University of Beirut and a hospital in the foothills of Aley. In one day seventeen hospitals were hit. The scenes inside these hospitals - further scenes from Goya or the Inferno - were complete pandemonium as the bodies of the dead and wounded were brought in. Administrators and doctors protested that their hospitals were clearly marked with Red Cross or Red Crescent signs. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, the Israelis also attacked its ambulances, cars, and volunteers, preventing them from evacuating the wounded and bringing food and medical supplies." (The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands, Jeremy Salt, 2008, pp 257-58)

No comments: