Doctors in Gaza Respond

The medical providers called on the WHO and rights groups to hold accountable the group of Israeli physicians who betrayed their profession by endorsing the bombing of a hospital in Gaza.

A wounded Palestinian child getting treated at the overcrowded emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike on Oct. 11. (Palestinian News & Information Agency, or Wafa, for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

Physicians who have been working for four weeks to save as many lives as possible from Israel’s “complete siege” of Gaza, even as the healthcare system collapses around them, responded on Monday to a statement by a group of Israeli doctors who over the weekend called for the bombing of a hospital in the besieged territory.

“We as doctors are ambassadors of peace. We save lives,” said the doctors, led by Dr. Marwan Shafiq Al-Ham, director of Muhammad Yusuf Al-Najjar Hospital, in a statement.

“Israeli doctors who signed a letter promoting [the] bombing of hospitals with patients inside have committed a betrayal to their noble profession and bear responsibility.” 

The medical providers called on the World Health Organization and human rights groups that work in the healthcare field to help hold the signers of the letter accountable. 

The weekend letter was signed by about 100 members of a group called Doctors for the Rights of Israeli Soldiers and was first reported Sunday by the Israeli outlet HaMedash.

The doctors claimed the bombing of al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, was a “legitimate right” of Israel because it serves as a base for “Palestinian armed groups.”

“The residents of Gaza saw fit to turn hospitals into terrorist nests to take advantage of western morality, they are the ones who brought destruction upon themselves; terrorism must be eliminated everywhere,” reads the letter. “Attacking terrorist headquarters is the right and the duty of the Israeli army.”

An ambulance convoy outside the hospital was bombed last Friday, with Israel claiming an ambulance was carrying Hamas fighters. Officials at Al-Shifa said the convoy was carrying wounded civilians to Egypt via the Rafah crossing for treatment, as medical supplies are running extremely low in Gaza. 

At least 15 Palestinians were killed and 60 were injured in the bombing.

[On Nov. 3, health workers in New York City rallied in their scrubs to honor colleagues in Gaza who have been killed by Israel since Oct. 7.]

The signatories of the Israeli letter, said the doctors in Gaza, are “fully responsible if, God forbid, something happens to the hospitals.”

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which has led protests against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and has long called for an end to the country’s apartheid policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, said the doctors who signed the letter are “derelict in their duty” to protect human lives.

“We want to build a world that upholds the sanctity of life—equally, for everyone—not one that promotes the extermination of Palestinians,” said JVP. “And we won’t stop fighting until we get justice, for Palestinians and for all people.”

Al Jazeera journalist Sana Saeed said Israel’s bombing of hospitals and claims that they are terrorist targets has aimed to “dehumanize” medical workers as they’ve “put their lives on the line” for the more than 2 million people — about half of them children — who live in Gaza. 

“We have sworn to protect human lives,” said the doctors in Gaza. “Therefore, it is not permissible to betray the oath and the profession.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

13 comments for “Doctors in Gaza Respond

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    November 10, 2023 at 14:47

    Out of consideration and respect for the Animal Kingdom I won’t call these turds ‘animals’.

  2. David Otness
    November 9, 2023 at 10:46

    This is the psychosis of Israeli Zionism writ large. When doctors themselves, the paragons of mercy and survival…

  3. mr bog
    November 9, 2023 at 08:22

    Israel has explicitly declared it’s okay to kill X women, Y men and Z children civilians in order to kill one so-called terrorist.
    Are these variables X, Y and Z officially unrestrained and unbounded? Have they left it open to kill every man, woman and child in Gaza just to kill one so-called terrorist? If you’re going to embark on a campaign of the systematic murder of civilians in pursuit of one outlaw, what does it say about a country that sets no bounds on the practice?
    So there has to be some official policy on the values of X, Y and Z. How many men, woman and children murders justify one terrorist to them? The values of X, Y and Z are clearly at least 100 to Israel, even to doctors in Israel. Are they 1000? 10,000?

  4. Morey
    November 9, 2023 at 00:48

    This is horrifically unconscionable. A group of doctors promoting bombing of Gaza hospitals? At first I couldn’t believe the report by Common Dreams. But it’s now it’s clear it’s accurate. When in modern history have we had similar genocidal calls or thoughts? Third Reich I can fathom, but in this century?!

    • John Carter
      November 9, 2023 at 13:21

      It makes me reconsider and question the whole “third reich” narrative! WHO rally were the bad guys then!

  5. Dr. Hujjatullah M.H.Babu Sahib
    November 8, 2023 at 22:49

    For doctors bred in a “civilization” that thrives on mass culling of fauna even for price maintenance and profiteerings betrayal of the otherwise noble medical profession and its sacred obligations are merely a dispensable small step that amounts to nothing of significance at all. What an obscene disgrace on humanity and its alleged superiority to animals !

  6. Adam Gorelick
    November 8, 2023 at 18:28

    Calling Dr. Mengele… Do the 100 Israeli doctors who signed a letter calling for even more murderous aggression towards health workers and hospitals by the IDF actually believe that Gaza’s hospitals are “Wasp’s nests” ? Has a lifetime of Hasbara inculcation really convinced them and other Israelis that every bomb dropped by the Israeli military is a “strike” on Hamas fighters; or that every man, woman and child is acting as a “human shield” for “terrorists” ? These medical professionals call for merciless slaughter of Gazan doctors and wounded Palestinians – half of them children – then have the temerity to say, “if, God forbid, something happens” to the hospitals they wish to see bombed, it will be the Palestinian doctors fault. Even Israel’s defacto inspiration, the Nazis, didn’t express such galling and ludicrous hypocrisy. Israel is like a psychopathic individual who, assuming everyone else is a moron, tries to present themselves as moral and principled. It’s hackneyed propaganda is a complete inversion of reality. Every quality that Hasbara attributes to Palestinians – barbarism, limitless sadism and homicidal behaviour – perfectly suits a state, an ideology, and a majority of it’s citizenry, that embodies the absolute worst of humanity. But, besides the undeniable genocide underway, this letter, beseeching the IDF to murder courageous health workers and their patients, fully exposes the state’s true face : grotesque and monstrous, sadistic and possessed by racist bloodlust. Whatever happens after this long awaited Final Solution for “the Palestinian Problem”, Israel has forever lost it’s facade of democracy and civility. The world’s citizens are largely united in disgust and outrage at this fascist, racial supremacist state – and united in conscience for Palestine. In this respect, Israel has lost.

  7. CaseyG
    November 8, 2023 at 16:55

    WHAT are you doing America? The people of Gaza have been attacked and driven out of their own land since 1948. NAKBA—and Palestinians have been murdered by Israelis since 1948.

    Wen will this stop Israel? Netanyahu appears to care nothing about the people of Gaza who are squashed into ever smaller living spaces —and both Biden and Blinken appear to care nothing about the Palestinians.
    Riddle us this Biden and Blinken—–when Israel murders Palestinians in ambulances and in hospitals—-there is no safe place in Gaza. GAZA, the last place where Palestinians are allowed to be—and yet Netanyahu has decided otherwise.

    Rep Talib is attacked by most of Congress—-how is that possible elected ones? When Israel becomes more
    important than Americans—does that now mean that Israel rules us all? As a newspaperman once lost his job
    when the Hidenberg imploded—-it appears that Palestinians and their supporters are now ” Persona No Grata.” of the long ago world when WE THE PEOPLE actually meant something——

    BIden and Blinken—you truly disgust me—-almost as much as Israel does. : (

  8. CaseyG
    November 8, 2023 at 16:38

    Oh America—-what terrorists your are. What a shame that Congress is not protecting the Palestinians. the Palestinians have been harassed and murdered since NAKBA in 1948. and This continues with Israel never having responsibility for anything.Rep Talib is treated in your own Congress as a terrorist —oh the irony as this is exactly the terror that the US Military created upon the Native people so long ago. Let us not forget either, President # 6 , Andrew Jackson promising the native people that they would be safe as “long as grass grows and rivers run.” HA! What a charade.
    And now we have another nation, Israel murdering and murdering, and with a man called Biden supporting this horror.

    My country is I see land of HYPOCRISY. You make me cry. : (

  9. Lois Gagnon
    November 8, 2023 at 15:41

    Dehumanization of the target population is the tactic of fascists. It is racist to its core. Israel is condemning itself, not the Palestinians. The whole world is watching.

  10. mr bog
    November 8, 2023 at 12:58

    Israel has explicitly declared it’s okay to kill X women, Y men and Z children civilians in order to kill one so-called terrorist.
    So one has to wonder if they’ve put upper bounds on X, Y and Z. How many men, woman and children murders justify one terrorist? The values of X, Y and Z are clearly at least 500 to Israel, even doctors in Israel. Are they as high as 1000? 10,000? Are these variables unbounded? Have they left it open to kill every man, woman and child in Gaza to kill one terrorist? If you’re going to embark on a campaign of systematic murder of civilians, what does it say about a country that sets no bounds on that?

  11. Francis Lee
    November 8, 2023 at 12:42

    I had to say that I was in tears.

    • Valerie
      November 8, 2023 at 15:53

      Like our voices will go unheard, our tears will go unseen.

Comments are closed.