Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign


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Gaza tragedies

Friday, 20 March 2007

As one of seven doctors from Britain paying an eight day visit to Gaza, I was shown the room in Al Wafa rehabilitation hospital where two nurses were killed in April 2002 by a sniper firing from a nearby building. They went into the room to tend a paraplegic patient who had to be turned every two hours. A bullet passed through the heart of the first nurse, killing him instantly, and then entered the chest of his colleague who died shortly afterwards. The patient managed to get to one of the nurses and was doing external cardiac massage when the staff arrived. Although the sniper had fired deliberately, the BBC reported that the two nurses had been killed in ‘cross fire.’ The name of the hospital is painted clearly on its walls.
            In the next room we were introduced to a man in his 20s, shot in his home in Khan Younis near the border with Israel. According to the senior doctor, the man was the victim of an expanding bullet, manufactured in California, fired by an Israeli sniper two months ago, well after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. It severed his spinal cord, paralysing both legs. At the young man’s bedside was his father, recovering from a fracture through his left femur, caused by another of the sniper’s bullets. A third bullet left the mother blind in one eye. The killing or wounding of health professionals on duty or civilians are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.


Father and son who were shot in their home by a sniper