The British surgeon of Palestinian origin, Ghassan Abu Sitta, said that Israel aims to make… Gaza An uninhabitable place by targeting hospitals in particular.
The expert in plastic and reconstructive surgery added to Anadolu Agency that he went to Gaza via Egypt with Doctors Without Borders on October 9, two days after the start of the Israeli war on the Strip.
He pointed out that he made great efforts to serve the people of Gaza despite the lack of medical capabilities in hospitals there, until November 18.
Abu Sitta, who won the Turkish TRT Global Citizen Award, said that Israel seeks to deprive Gaza of life-saving services.
Abu Sitta, who came to the Netherlands to follow judicial proceedings at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, spoke about the situation of hospitals in Gaza and the medical difficulties he faced while there.
He also told the story of the unpublished interview that Anatolia photographer Muntaser Al-Sawaf conducted with him a few days before he was martyred in an Israeli air strike.
Al-Sawaf lost his life, along with his brother Marwan, in an Israeli air strike in front of his house early last month.
Abu Sitta said, as he looked at the photo on the first page of Anadolu’s evidence book, which was taken of him while he was giving a press statement among the corpses of children on the night of the bombing of Al-Ahly Baptist Hospital: This photo was taken on the night of the Al-Ahly Baptist massacre.
He continued, “I entered the area where the photo was taken with one of the wounded. There were many families taking shelter in the hospital. At around 18:00, a missile was launched at the area where these families were taking refuge, and about 480 people were killed.”
Abu Sitta explained that Israeli politicians and military leaders are acting very clearly in order to make Gaza an uninhabitable place.
He added: They want to cleanse Gaza of its residents. One of the most effective ways to make the place uninhabitable is to destroy the health sector.
Doctor Abu Sitta pointed out that many medical supplies had been unavailable in Gaza since the beginning of the war, and they had run out of morphine and anesthetics that they used to relieve pain during surgical operations.
He added: Unfortunately, we were not able to admit many patients to the operating room, as many of the patients developed infections, and the only way to prevent these wounds from becoming infected and save the patient from death was to perform extremely painful disinfection operations without the availability of anesthesia.
He pointed out that working conditions in Gaza have become very difficult due to the bombing and the evacuation of hospitals.
He went on to say that the injured were being transferred from one hospital to another, and I was also moving from one hospital to another, and for this reason we lost track of the patients.
He added, after the fall of Al-Shifa Hospital and the transformation of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital into the only operating hospital in Gaza, we were trying to treat 500 wounded people, and we were cut off from outside life for several days. Al-Sawaf came to us and met me and another fellow surgeon. I was very amazed at the extent of his courage.
Abu Sitta indicated that the interview was about the conditions in the hospital, and that Al-Sawaf later photographed the wounded in the hospital.
He said that despite Israeli threats to launch new attacks, Al-Sawaf was photographing the situation of the wounded and the destruction after the Israeli forces attacked the Ahli Baptist Hospital.
He continued: (Al-Sawaf) was a very brave young man.
Unfortunately, I heard that a colleague of mine, who was a nurse in the burns unit at Al-Shifa Hospital, was killed along with her brother. A few days later, we learned that the director of the emergency department at Al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Haitham Abu Hani, was killed along with his wife and children, Abu Sitta added.
Targeting medical staff
He continued, “Every 3 days we hear about our colleagues being injured or killed by the Israelis. During this war, the Israelis killed 300 doctors and nurses.
Describing his day in Gaza, Abu Sitta said: As a father, caring for all these injured children was very difficult for me psychologically. I used to perform 10 to 12 surgeries a day and finish them at 01:00 at night.
He added that he would come to Turkey soon to receive the award given to him by the English-language Turkish channel TRT.
Since October 7, 2023, Gaza has been witnessing a devastating war waged by the Israeli army, which as of Friday left 24,762 martyrs and 62,108 injured, and caused the displacement of about 1.9 million people, meaning more than 85 percent of the Strip’s population, according to the Gaza Strip authorities and the United Nations. .