A Norwegian doctor currently assisting in the war stricken Gaza Strip has penned a moving letter to the world’s most influential leaders, describing the awful conditions caused by a 17 day Israeli bombardment on the region. Since the conflict between Hamas and Israel began just over two weeks ago, more than 700 people have been killed, 160 of whom were children.
Dr Mads Gilbert, a professor and clinical head at the University Hospital of North Norway, hailed the tireless efforts of the Palestinian doctors and nurses in recent weeks, praising their professionalism and diligence in the manner in which they performed their duties.
“I am just so full of admiration with the way they do it. Even if they lack a lot of equipment and supplies, they never give up. We have tried to resuscitate and manage the most horrible of traumas,” he told VOC Drivetime.
He described the more than 220 staff at the al-Shifa Hospital where he was assisting as excellent doctors, revealing he had learnt more from them during his visits to Gaza, than anywhere else.
“Every time I come back from Gaza I am a richer man, both in knowledge as a human being, and as a professional,” he said.
He also noted that most of the staff at the hospital had yet to be paid a normal salary in over a year.
“For the last four months they have not had a stable salary and the previous eight months they had 50% of the salary. And still they come to work. They walk to work in the midst of this bombing, to serve their people, to serve their patients,” he said.
Gilbert described the people of Gaza as the most hospitable, decent and dignified of individuals, noting that even during the dark hours of the current Israeli offensive, most Gazans continued to uphold their morals.
According to Gilbert, the core of the current crisis in Gaza was the full impunity being afforded to Israel by the international community. He believes the world’s top leaders have lost their empathy and become immune to the plight of the Palestinian people.
Despite being witness to many of the casualties and injuries caused by the attacks, he refused to confirm the type of weapons being used by the Israeli military, saying the lose of a Palestinian life was unacceptable no matter what weapons the army were using.
“A killed Palestinian child is a killed Palestinian child, whether it is a flechette, M16 rifle bullet, or a block of concrete from that child’s bedroom. I don’t care, what I care about is that the bombing must stop regardless of the weaponry being used,” he said.
He expressed hope that those in the Israeli leadership would eventually stand in front of the International Criminal Court and be held accountable for the hundreds of innocent lives lost during the conflict. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)