“This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population
- 08 Jan 2009
Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working at Al-Shifa Hospital Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, tells Sky News that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.
Gaza, the 5th of january 2009
“Just a little bit more than an hour ago the Israelis bombed the central fruit market in Gaza city and we had a mass influx of about 50 injured and between 10 and 15 killed. At the same time they bombed an apartment house with children playing on the roof and we had a lot of children also. So this is really like speaking from the dumps of Inferno, it’s like hell here now, and it’s been bombing all night. Until now close to 500 people have been killed and the number of casualties is getting to 2,500 of which 50% are children and women.
Are your hospitals reaching capacity? Can you deal with these people?
We have been doing surgery around the clock. I have just talked with one of my colleagues in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), he’s not been sleeping for three days and the hospital is completely overcrowded, we are running 6 – 7 Ors (Operating Rooms) and there are injuries you just don’t want to see in this world… children coming in with open abdomens and legs cut off. We just had a child that we had to amputate both legs and an arm. And their only crime is being civilians and Palestinians living in Gaza. The relief now is not more doctors and more drugs; the relief now is to stop the bombing immediately, this cannot go on, it’s a disaster.
You’ve talked about the civilians, the women, the children, the men who aren’t involved in this, but are you also getting casualties that are Hamas fighters?
To be honest, we came on New Year’s Eve in the morning. I’ve seen one military person among the tenths… I mean hundreds that we’ve seen and treated, so anybody who tries to portrait this as a totally clean war against another army are lying. This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza, and we can prove that with numbers. And you have to remember that the average age of the Gaza inhabitants is 17 years, it’s a very young population, and 80% are living below the poverty limit of the UN. So this is a poor and very young people, and they are able to escape absolutely nowhere, because they cannot flee like other populations can in war time, because they are fenced in and they are in a cage, so they’re bombing 1.5 million people in a cage… young people, poor people and, you know, you cannot separate between the civilians and the fighters in such a situation.”
Transcribed by Atenea Acevedo (Tlaxcala) and Hana Al Bayaty (IAON)