FILM: MAP’s vital work treating gunshot wounds in Gaza

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza on 30 March, 36 protesters and two journalists have been killed by Israeli forces using live ammunition. Thousands of Palestinians have been injured, many with devastating gunshot wounds to their legs.

For each patient, such injuries can result in a long and painful road to recovery. Many will even be left with permanent disabilities, and a number of patients have had unsalvageable limbs amputated.

Meanwhile, Gaza’s medical teams are doing all they can to treat those wounded in the most difficult context of a decade-long closure and blockade. Even before the current crisis began, hospitals were suffering chronic shortages of medicines, equipment, and even fuel to keep generators running and services open.

Donate now to help support MAP’s emergency response

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has a long history of working in close partnership with Palestinian health workers – mobilising essential resources and skills at times of emergency. Since 2014, when thousands of complex limb injuries occurred as a result of Israel’s military offensive, MAP and our partner IDEALS have been sending teams of orthopaedic surgeons from King’s College Hospital in London to Gaza. There, they began conducting vital operations for patients, and training a local team of limb reconstruction specialists, including surgeons, theatre technicians and nurses.

Their regular visits led to the establishment of Gaza’s first dedicated Limb Reconstruction Unit (LRU) at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, with more recent support for a second unit at the European Gaza Hospital in the south. Through this project, we have also helped to train Palestinian physiotherapists, who are playing an essential role in helping people to recover better from their injuries and regain mobility and functioning.

In our latest film you can see how, amid Israel’s violent response to the Great March of Return, these years of work have proved vital to ensuring that injured protesters are able to receive the best care possible within Gaza’s beleaguered health system.

One patient of the LRU, Hazem, attests to how transformative this work has been to patients’ lives: “I am the happiest man on Earth. My leg was about to be amputated, and now I am walking on it again.”

We have already released shipments of vital medicines and surgical equipment to hospitals in Gaza, which were used by the surgical team at Al Shifa within the first 24 hours of responding to the crisis. Over the coming weeks, MAP and IDEALS will once again be deploying orthopaedic surgery teams to Gaza to work alongside their Palestinian colleagues to treat the wounded. This is only possible thanks to the kind support of people like you.

To support MAP’s response to the emergency in Gaza, please donate today:

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Credits: Producer-Hala Safadi, Footage-Mohammed Mubayyed and Editor- Mohammed Tanani