In Bombed Gaza, Doctors Become Patients

By Ola Attallah – Gaza

When the phone rang once again, it was Dr. Hassan Al-Attal’s turn to go save the lives of another Gazan family.

But in just minutes, it was Attal who pleaded for help after being showered with Israeli bullets.

"We were heading to help three bleeding children whose house was hit by an Israeli shell," Attal, an emergency doctor in Gaza City, told

"But once we arrived to the house, our ambulance came under a hail of fire," he recalled.

"We fell to the ground bleeding, and instead of helping the injured children we were crying for help ourselves," he said from a hospital bed.

The Israeli killing machine has not spared doctors and medics who struggle to save the lives of helpless victims.

More than 12 doctors and rescue workers have been killed so far in the 19-day Israeli onslaught against the densely-populated coastal enclave.

In addition, dozens of hospitals and health clinics have been destroyed in Israeli air and artillery shelling.

Doctor Ahmed Al-Assafi recalls how his colleague Ihab Al-Madhoon was killed by Israeli shells while trying to rush a severely-injured child to the hospital.

"He breathed his last while he was trying to carry the child to the ambulance when Israeli tanks hit the area once again," he said with tears in his eyes.

A 28-year-old doctor in the refugee camp of Jabalyia was killed by Israeli artillery on Tuesday, January 13, while on his way to a building hit by Israeli missiles.

"Are those doctors posing a threat to Israel’s security?" fumed Dr. Muawiya Hasanien, the head of Gaza Emergence and Ambulance Services.

"They want us to leave our people bleeding to death."

Attal, the emergency doctor, says the attack on his ambulance seemed deliberate.

"They don’t want us to help our wounded. They don’t want any Gazan to survive."

Journalists Too

Not only medics, but even reporters are not safe from Israeli fire.

"They already massacred entire families, ravaged hospitals, orphanages, hospitals and schools, and no one has stopped them," Ayman Al-Dalloul, a local reporter, told IOL.

"What would stop them from targeting us."

So far several reporters have fallen victim as Israel continues to target homes and workplaces of media people.

Al-Aqsa TV journalist Jalal Nashwan, 52, was not carrying a gun or shooting at Israeli troops when they rained him with bullets in Beit Hanun on Saturday, January 11.

Two days earlier, an Israeli missile attack killed Palestinian photo-journalist Ihab Al-Wahidi, his wife and his elderly mother inside their home.

Israeli tank fire has also destroyed the home of Palestinian journalist Ala Mortijar, killing him and injuring several others.

Israel, which killed nearly 1000 Palestinians in 19 days, also targeted a building complex in Gaza City that houses media and production studios of 20 media organizations, including several international news agencies.

Israel, usually described as the Middle East’s sole democracy, is denying international reporters access into Gaza to cover its war.

Dozens of international news outlets issued a joint call with global press watchdog Reporters Without Borders last week for Israel to reverse that decision.

But Dalloul, the Palestinian journalist, believes Israel would never do that.

"Israelis want neither a camera nor a pen to expose the atrocities they are committing in Gaza."
( and Agencies)

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