Five months under fire: Gaza health workers speak out

Today, Friday 31 August, marks five months since the widespread civil society-organised “Great March of Return” demonstrations began in Gaza. Demonstrators are demanding the realisation of their right to return to the lands they were expelled from or fled in 1948, and the wider realisation of their rights after 11 years of illegal closure and blockade. Israel’s use of military force in the context of these demonstrations has resulted in the deaths of 160 Palestinians and more than 18,000 people have also been injured since 30 March, among them 4,508 shot with live ammunition.

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Health workers and ambulances have also come under fire as they have tried to reach, treat and transfer wounded demonstrators. By mid-August, three health-workers in Gaza had been killed and 379 injured by Israeli forces while carrying out vital and life-saving work.

It is not just the widespread use of live ammunition which threatens these health workers and their ability to care for injured demonstrators. Among the injured health workers, 75% suffered tear gas inhalation, and 10.5% were directly hit by tear gas canisters – sometimes causing serious injury.

Every day for the next week, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) will release the testimonies of health workers in Gaza who have been injured by the Israeli military whilst carrying out their crucial work. These films highlight the need for the international community to take urgent action to ensure the protection of Palestinian healthcare.

 

Take action

MAP is calling on the UK and other governments to take action to protect and support Palestinian health workers in Gaza. If you are in the UK, you can sign our petition using the link below:

Sign our petition

If you are outside the UK, you can support our campaign by tweeting your country's representatives at the UN:

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