[News] "Clearly marked" Gaza medics shot by Israeli snipers
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 18 11:25:07 EDT 2018
"Clearly marked" Gaza medics shot by Israeli snipers
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/nora-barrows-friedman> - 17 May 2018
“We could see very quickly that the Israelis were going to shoot a lot
of people,” Tarek Loubani
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/tarek-loubani>, a Palestinian
Canadian emergency physician who treated patients in Gaza on 14 May,
told The Electronic Intifada Podcast.
As Israeli forces began to shoot into the crowds, the number of
Palestinians wounded in their limbs climbed. Loubani said that his
paramedic team “ran out of our supply of tourniquets really early in the
morning. All we had left were eight of them.”
After he retrieved more tourniquets and returned to distribute them to
paramedics, he said there was a lull around him: “No burning tires, no
smoke, no tear gas, nobody messing around in front of the buffer zone.
Just a clearly marked medical team well away from everybody else.”
“And unfortunately that’s when I got shot.”
An Israeli sniper shot him with a bullet that penetrated both legs
as he stood near Gaza’s eastern perimeter during the Great March of
Return <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/great-march-return> protests.
He was one of 18 paramedics who were shot and injured on that day alone,
One of them, Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein, was killed
Abu Hassanein and Loubani were part of the same medical team working in
According <https://www.facebook.com/t.loubani/posts/391503431363417> to
Loubani, four members of his team, including himself and Abu Hassanein,
were shot that day – mostly in the lower limbs.
Loubani was wearing hospital scrubs and Abu Hassanein and the others
were wearing orange vests, clearly identifying them as a medics.
They were working as part of a team stationed in an area about 25 meters
from the perimeter fence, Loubani said.
“We huddled there because we knew we would otherwise get in the
crossfire” of the Israeli snipers, he added.
But he was shot. Loubani said that it was “very hard to believe that the
sniper didn’t know who he was targeting.”
Low medical supplies
Loubani has been working with Gaza-based physicians and designers to
the overwhelming lack of basic medical supplies and electricity to
operate hospitals and treat patients, as Israel and Egypt continue the
He was in Gaza to join medical teams and test tourniquets
that he helped design <https://github.com/gliax> using open-source
and 3D printers.
Gaza’s health ministry reported
<https://www.facebook.com/Ashraf.ability/posts/977743679069895> that 62
Palestinians had been killed and almost 3,200 injured by Israeli forces
in the territory on 14 May, as Israeli forces opened fire on tens of
thousands of Palestinians during the Great March of Return.
As of 15 May, more than 100 Palestinians, including 12 children, two
journalists and paramedic Abu Hassanein had been killed
during the protests, which have been held near Gaza’s eastern boundary
since 30 March.
Abu Hassanein had rescued Loubani and treated his bullet wound.
About an hour later, the Israeli army shot Abu Hassanein in the chest
while he tried to attend
to a wounded protester.
Loubani believes that if he hadn’t been incapacitated by that sniper’s
bullet to his own legs, he could have treated his friend and possibly
saved his life.
“When he went down, all the paramedics hit the deck. And they were able
to get to cover behind a rock but they couldn’t get him to cover until
things calmed down, which took about 20 minutes” – which was too late,
“He had kids. He was a good paramedic. He was a solid rescuer,” Loubani
Abu Hassanein died of a treatable condition – tension pneumothorax, a
collapsed lung due to the injury, Loubani explained. “I could have fixed
it with a Bic pen.”
More than 12,600 Palestinians have been injured during the seven weeks
of protests, most of them requiring hospitalization.
More than 200 paramedics and health workers have been injured while
providing treatment to wounded people during the mass demonstrations,
the United Nations. Thirty-two ambulances were also damaged.
One soldier has been reported
lightly wounded – the only Israeli casualty during the protests.
“Creaking to its breaking point”
Loubani told The Electronic Intifada Podcast that he received only light
treatment for his bullet wound due to the staggering number of injured
people needing emergency medical care in the hospital.
Adding to the pressure of physicians trying to triage the thousands of
patients, massive shortages of electricity, supplies and medications
have made the situation inside Gaza’s hospitals
intolerable, Loubani said.
Due to the regular electricity outages
ice – a basic requirement to help treat and heal wounds in a triage
situation – is nearly unavailable.
“The Palestinians definitely have the right to healthcare that’s being
denied through this essentially enforced embargo on medical supplies and
medical personnel,” Loubani said.
He explained that he has been able to take only over-the-counter
painkillers he brought from Canada to treat his pain, since there are
little to no analgesic medications available in Gaza.
“Usually, there’s a list of about 50 percent of essential medications
stock that is unavailable. But now, that’s at almost 100 percent,” he said.
Everything is in short supply, he said, because even well-designed,
well-funded medical systems don’t have the resources to deal with the
enormous amount of gunshot victims in one day.
“That’s not something anyone can deal with, let alone a place that’s
already creaking to its breaking point,” he said.
Tepid response from Canadian prime minister
Meanwhile, Loubani’s elected representatives back in Canada have issued
some responses to Israel’s attacks.
Canada’s center-left New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/jagmeet-singh> tweeted Tuesday that
he was “outraged” that Loubani was shot by Israeli soldiers.
“Glad he is recovering but how can [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau
remain silent on such indiscriminate violence?” Singh added.
Outraged to learn that Canadian doctor and humanitarian, Tarek
Loubani, was shot in Gaza yesterday by IDF soldiers, while providing
medical assistance. Glad he is recovering but how can @JustinTrudeau
silent on such indiscriminate violence?
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) May 15, 2018
<https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> forced to
answer a Q on #Gaza
says his concern today is with the victims of the “terrible
violence”, calls for "de-escalation" of violence in the region, the
only way forward is negotiations.
Real question: who does he think caused the violence? #cdnpoli
— Michael Bueckert 🌹 (@mbueckert) May 16, 2018
This week, the NDP itself condemned Israel’s “clear violations of
international law and human rights” and called
<http://www.ndp.ca/news/ndp-condemns-killings-gaza> on Israel to end the
occupation of Palestinians.
The party’s youth wing went a step further, urging the Canadian
government <https://twitter.com/ynd_jnd/status/996469657493270528> to
apply political and economic sanctions and stop arms sales to Israel.
On Wednesday, Trudeau
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/justin-trudeau>, a strong ally
of Israel, published a statement
saying that Canada “deplores and is gravely concerned by the violence in
the Gaza Strip” – without mentioning who, exactly, has been perpetrating it.
He added that the government is “appalled” that Loubani is among the
Trudeau called for an “immediate investigation to thoroughly examine the
facts on the ground” and said the government is “engaging with Israeli
officials to get to the bottom of these events” but stopped short of any
sharp condemnation of Israel’s killing and maiming of unarmed protesters.
Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted on Wednesday that
they government is “doing everything we can to help [Loubani], as well
as determine how a Canadian was injured.”
Thank you, Dr. Tarek Loubani, for taking the time to speak to me
this morning. Dr. Loubani was injured Monday in the Gaza Strip. We
are doing everything we can to help him, as well as determine how a
Canadian was injured. @trklou
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) May 16, 2018
Anyone who’s read reports from @MedicalAidPal
<https://twitter.com/btselem?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> knows that
evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza is overwhelming. So call for
international investigation that won’t happen just becomes another
way to shield Israel from blame.
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) May 17, 2018
Activists criticized the Canadian government’s diluted responses as well
as the Israel lobby’s defense of Israel’s violence:
Boy, is Chrystia going to be shocked when she finds out
— Michael Bueckert 🌹 (@mbueckert) May 16, 2018
He wasn’t “injured” he was shot by Israeli army snipers, along with
1,300 Palestinians. A Canadian was injured because Israeli snipers
shot him. Seriously, this is not difficult stuff.
— PSN Edmonton (@psnedmonton) May 16, 2018
Curious to hear @ADL_National
<https://twitter.com/ADL_National?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> explain how
Hamas made Israeli snipers shoot a Canadian doctor
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) May 15, 2018
In 2013, Loubani was imprisoned
in Egypt for nearly two months along with filmmaker and activist John
They were arrested after filming and treating patients shot by Egyptian
authorities, who killed hundreds and injured thousands of people during
a protest against the army’s coup against President Mohammed Morsi
Listen to the interview with Tarek Loubani via the media player above.
/Theme music and production assistance by Sharif Zakout/
/Subscribe to The Electronic Intifada Podcast on Apple Podcasts (search
for The Electronic Intifada). Support our podcast by rating us, sharing
and leaving a review./
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