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Inside a Gaza Hospital as Israeli Military Attacks Escalate: 200 Air Strikes

No one knows where the next missile will hit, no one knows where they can be safe. Parents are unable to keep their children safe, let alone provide them a sense of safety.

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Zuhdiye Samour, a mother and grandmother from Beach refugee camp in western Gaza City, was still visibly shaken by what had happened when she shared her story: “We were sitting together in our house. It was around 8.30 in the evening and we were watching TV, playing films so that the children would be less afraid. Then, we heard the sound of 12 shells being fired from gunboats in the sea.” Zuhdiye and three other civilians were injured as shells dropped in her neighbourhood, a residential area in the north of Gaza City.

Khalid Hamad, the Director of Public Information for the Ministry of Justice, was one of the other civilians injured in the indiscriminate attack of the residential area. He was at home with his family in Nabarat, Northern Gaza City, when they heard the sound of shelling, targeting a neighbour’s home. A number of people in the neighbourhood rushed outside to help and were targeted by a series of six additional shells. Hamad’s teenage nephew was lightly injured,and another man received shrapnel wounds. “They targeted civilians deliberately”, he said. “The Israeli forces don’t make mistakes.”

A 13 year old girl, Duaa Hejazi, was coming back to her home in Gaza’s Sabra neighbourhood, after a walk with her mother and siblings, when an Israeli missile fired on the road in front of their home around 8 o’clock at night. “I was bleeding a lot. My brother was injured too, in his hand. The neighbours brought me to the hospital” Duaa sustained shrapnel injuries throughout her upper body, with some pieces still imbedded in her chest. She would like to pass on a message to other children, living outside of Gaza:

“I say, we are children. There is nothing that is our fault to have to face this. They are occupying us and I will say, as Abu Omar said, “If you’re a mountain, the wind won’t shake you”. We’re not afraid, we’ll stay strong.”

During our time al Shifa we also met with Dr Mithad Abbas, the Director General of the hospital. When we asked him about the ways in which Shifa hospital is coping with the incoming patients, he said, “When those cases arrive at our hospital, it is not under normal circumstances. They come on top of the siege, the blockade, which has resulted in a lack of vital medicines and required medical supplies.” The hospital lacks essential basic medicines and supplies, such as antibiotics, IV fluid, anesthesia, gloves, catheters, external fixators, Heparin, sutures, detergents and spare parts for medical equipment.

The hospital also relies on a store of fuel, which provides power during the daily electricity cuts. If power cuts reach the level of more than 12 hours per day, Dr Abbas estimates that the hospital only has enough fuel in storage to run for approximately one week.

Hospital staff are encountering chaotic and emotional scenes, as hallways and rooms become overcrowded with people trying to ascertain whether their relatives or friends have been hurt. “People enter the emergency room in panic, looking for their relatives. It is very difficult to deal with,” says Abbas.

No one knows where the next missile will hit, no one knows where they can be safe. Parents are unable to keep their children safe, let alone provide them a sense of safety.

These are the names of the martyrs killed in the attacks:

1- Walid Abadlah, 2 1/2 years

2- Marwan Abu Al-Qumsan, 52 years

3- Ramai Hamamd

4- Khalid Abu Al-Nasser

5- Habes Mesbeh, 30 years

 
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