False Claims: Israeli Media Misleads on Coronavirus Treatment in Italy

Israeli doctor Gal Peleg during his interview with Israeli Channel 12. (Photo: Video Grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Italian doctors have a moral obligation towards all patients in accordance with the Italian constitution,” Italian doctor Nadia Valente, from the central region of Abruzzo, in Italy, told The Palestine Chronicle.

“The Republic shall safeguard health as a fundamental right of the individual and as a collective interest, and shall ensure free medical care to the indigent,” the doctor said, citing the Constitution.

The comments were made in response to Israeli media claims, citing Israeli doctor Gal Peleg who, according to the Jerusalem Post, “is saving lives in Italy”, that “in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60, as such machines are limited in number.” 

The Palestine Chronicle traced the Israeli doctor’s allegations, which were first made in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12.

According to the published interview, Peleg said that “from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60, as such machines are limited in number.” 

Peleg’s comments were also reported in the rightwing Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to several medical authorities in Italy that vehemently rejected the Israeli media allegations, citing Pegel as the source.  

“Italian doctors have an obligation to treat every patient with any means at their disposal”, Doctor Valente, who is involved in the fight against COVID-19, told The Palestine Chronicle.

Later, the Palestine Chronicle found out that Pegel has issued a statement on Facebook that seemed to negate his earlier comments as reported in Israeli media. 

“No patient is abandoned and I am sure every doctor in Italy does the same,” he said in a statement in Italian, which was translated to English by The Palestine Chronicle. 

“I asked them (the Israeli journalists) to change their behavior and edit what they wrote,” Peleg added.

Chiaramenti:Sono il dottor. Gal Peleg Lavoro come medico di guardia a Parma dove abbiamo reparto hospice e reparto…

Posted by Gal Peleg on Monday, March 23, 2020

Italy, which has been devastated by the fallout of the Coronavirus, has a universal healthcare system that, unlike Israel, doesn’t discriminate against patients for any reason. 

Israel, on the other hand, has been repeatedly criticized for racial segregation in its hospitals and for targeting Palestinian hospitals and medics in its ongoing war on Palestinians. 

Meanwhile, international solidarity with Italy continues unabated with large medical delegations arriving in Italy from China, Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries, to aid their Italian colleagues in combating the deadly COVID-19 disease. 

Meanwhile, Palestinians, who are enduring a protracted Israeli occupation, siege and apartheid have tried to display their own solidarity with Italy using social media.

In a small rally in the city of Bethlehem, Palestinians raised flags of Italy and Palestine, while Arabic versions of the Italian nationalist song, ‘Bella Ciao’ were shared widely. 

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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