Please read the following appeal and distribute widely to your friends and mailing list and the media. You are kindly asked to contact your members of Parliaments to make them know and act to stop this catastrophe.
Medieval siege of 1.4 million souls in Gaza
It might not be generally known that a humanitarian crisis is building rapidly in Gaza. Because taxes that are due to the Palestinian government are being withheld by Israel and financial support by the EU has ceased, there is no money to pay public servants, including health workers. Most have not been paid for two months, and this in a place where over fifty percent of people live below the poverty line. Drugs are running out. Without anaesthetic agents, for instance, it is proposed the main public hospital in Gaza City, the Shafa, be closed.
Little or no material is being allowed through the commercial checkpoint of Karnai at the northern border with Israel.
A medieval element has been superimposed on this economic and physical siege. Artillery pieces have been firing shells into 'open ground' for the last two months, and this into one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The ostensible purpose is to quell the firing of the primitive Qassam rockets, which have killed eleven Israeli subjects in the last two years. On the morning of the 24th of April, the first author heard the explosions of about sixty shells whilst he discussed the formation of an educational medical centre with the senior physician at the El-Wafa hospital. It is reported that over six thousand have been fired. Life and limbs have been lost. The children are terrified and precious homes are being damaged or destroyed.
None of these actions are justified in international law. Indeed the opposite obtains. The EU and other nations are complicit by their involvement, or at least by their silence.
We ask for humanity, reason and the law to prevail – immediately.
David Halpin FRCS
Eyad El-Sarraj MD
Derek Summerfield MRCPsych
Please visit our site:
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme