Healthcare Workers Killed by Israel

Healthcare Workers Killed By Israel

Vijay Prashad asks that we remember the great loss to humanity from the doctors and other healthcare workers killed by Israel.

Israelis have attacked 464 health care facilities, killed 727 health care workers, injured 933 and damaged or destroyed 113 ambulances.

Remember the Palestinian Doctors Killed by Israel

By Vijay Prashad, Countercurrents, June 22, 2024

In the first week of June 2024, the Palestine office of the World Health Organization (WHO) released figures about the atrocious attacks on health care facilities and workers in Gaza since October 7, 2023. Thus far, according to the WHO, the Israelis have attacked 464 health care facilities, killed 727 health care workers, injured 933 health care workers, and damaged or destroyed 113 ambulances.

“Health care,” the WHO’s Palestine office argues, “is not a target.” And yet, during the past seven months, health care workers have faced relentless attacks by the Israeli military. Each of the stories about the deaths is heartbreaking, the names of the dead are too long to list in any article (although a group called Healthcare Workers for Palestine did read the names of their dead colleagues as a protest against this war). But some of the stories are worth reflecting on because they tell us about the commitment of the workers and the great loss to humanity from their murder.

Dr. Iyad Rantisi, who was 53 years old, ran the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, which lies in the northern part of Gaza. There are many Rantisis in Gaza, but they are not native to that part of Palestine. Like many Palestinians who live in Gaza, they have roots in other parts of Palestine from which they had been expelled in the Nakba of 1948; the Rantisis come from the village of Rantis, northwest of Ramallah. 

On November 11, 2023, during the Israeli military assault inside northern Gaza, Dr. Rantisi was taken into custody at an Israeli military checkpoint when he tried to leave northern Gaza for the south, following the orders of the Israeli military. Since then, his family had not heard anything about his whereabouts. Now, months later, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that he was taken to the Shikma Investigation Center of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which is inside the Ashkelon Prison. Dr. Rantisi was tortured and then killed six days into his detention. His family was not informed of this until the Haaretz report. Then, Dr. Rantisi’s daughter Dima wrote of the death of her father, a social media post that she paired with photographs of him in medical scrubs performing surgery on a patient.

Dr. Adnan Al-Barsh, also 53, trained in Romania before he returned home to Gaza to head the orthopedic department at Al-Shifa Hospital. He has a reputation of being a very loved doctor, whose office was crowded with his diplomas (from Jordan, from Palestine, from the United Kingdom). When the Israeli military attacked al-Shifa, Dr. Al-Barsh was forced to leave his post, but he did not leave his work. He first went to Kamal Adwan Hospital, where Dr. Rantisi worked, and then to Al-Awda Hospital in the area east of the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, which was also attacked several times by the Israelis.

On December 18, 2023, the Israeli military raided Al-Awda and took Dr. Al-Barsh and other hospital personnel into custody. Included among those arrested was the manager of the hospital and another very popular doctor, Dr. Ahmed Muhanna. On October 15, 2023, Dr. Muhanna made a video—which went viral—in which he pleaded to the world for help and for an immediate ceasefire. It is now reported that on April 19, 2024, Dr. Al-Barsh was killed by the Israelis in Ofer Prison. Tlaleng Mofokeng, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, said, “Dr. Adnan’s case raises serious concerns that he died following torture at the hands of Israeli authorities.”

Continue reading the full article here …

Source: Countercurrents.

* As the massacre and starvation of civilians in Gaza continues, can anyone believe the healthcare workers killed by Israel are not also the victims of a deliberate genocide? Also see: Israel is now killing Palestinians in Gaza by starvation.

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