“The Israelis are using a wide variety of sophisticated modern weapons against a basically naked civilian population,” said renowned Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert in a phone interview with The Electronic Intifada on Tuesday, 22 July.
“This is state terrorism at a very sophisticated and very high level,” he added.
Speaking over the phone from al-Shifa hospital where he is helping to treat the wounded, Gilbert described the horrors he has witnessed in Gaza in recent days as the bodies of mostly Palestinian women and children are brought to the hopsital torn to shreds by an Israeli arsenal deliberately aimed at civilians.
War on children
With the Gaza death toll quickly approaching 700, the United Nations says some 80 percent are civilians, among them at least 168 children. Over the last few days alone, Israeli forces have on average killed at least one child in Gaza per hour. Children also make up one-third of the more than 4,000 wounded, many with debilitating injuries that Gaza hospitals are ill-equipped to properly treat due to dire shortages caused by the Israel’s illegal siege.
“One of these kids would have a whole cross-professional team in an American hospital or Norwegian hospital,” said Gilbert.
Israel, it seems, is waging a war on children.
Meanwhile, more than 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza are internally displaced, access to clean drinking water is increasingly scarce and electricity is practically non-existent, explained Gilbert. Gaza is a man-made humanitarian catastrophe.
Bombing hospitals, killing paramedics
Israel has bombed at least 25 health care facilities, killing and injuring several medical workers, said Gilbert, whose repeated appeals for the UN to step in and protect Palestinian hospitals from Israeli attacks that clearly violate international law have been resulted in meaningful action on the ground.
“[Medical facilities] are being targeted and they’re being bombed and the patients and the staff are getting killed,” said Gilbert.
“What would have happened if Palestinian fighters had bombed an Israeli hospital and killed five patients?” Gilbert commented. “The world would have turned upside down. What is this second-hand, or even third-hand or fourth-hand citizenship in the world for the Palestinians?”
Yesterday the prestigious medical journal The Lancet published an open letter co-authored by Gilbert and signed by several doctors and scientists strongly denouncing Israel’s crimes against Gaza’s health sector.
“Israel is saying that they are bombing Gaza to get rid of tunnels and terrorists,” said Gilbert. “I see no tunnels and terrorists in Shifa hospital. I see only ordinary people like you and me.”