Sunday, 27 May 2012

Medics in Palestine as newsworthy as those in Syria‏

Dear CBC,

I would like to know if during the 2008-2009 Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million people you gave the same attention to the plight of Palestinian rescue and medical workers being attacked by the Israeli army as you did in tonight’s news covering Syria and the Western-backed “revolution”.

I suspect not, as I was in Gaza during the 23 days of Israeli bombing and medical workers I was volunteering with were killed by the Israeli army much as those medical workers CBC news described this evening. Except that in Gaza, medical workers were targeted by precision-bombing unmanned aerial vehicles (colloquially known as “drones”), flechette bombs, and shelling on ambulances and buildings in which medical workers were very visibly attempting to rescue the injured and the martyred.
One long-term medic I worked with one night was the morning after ripped apart and killed by the 4000-5000 razor sharp 2 inch metal darts (“flechettes“) which Israeli soldiers fired at his ambulance. His colleague testified eloquently on the murder, yet I saw no follow-up. On January 7, 2009, the day after the Current interviewed me, another medic I was accompanying was targeted by Israeli army snipers during Israeli-imposed “humanitarian cease-fire hours”. Yet another long-time medic, injured and aggressed by Israeli army attacks on various occasions while on duty as a medic, was carrying a corpse with a medical colleague down a flight of stairs from an apartment building when the building–which was surrounded by flashing ambulances and which the Israeli military with their high-technology surveillance equipment could see medics had entered–was shelled by the Israeli army. His colleague was decapitated by the Israeli-fired shell which struck the building the medics descended. The decapitated medic’s skull hit my medic colleagues own head. He has the shrapnel of his colleague in his skull to this day.

16 Palestinian medics were killed by the Israeli army during the 23 days of Israeli bombings, with another 57 injured; 9 Palestinian ambulances were destroyed, among the 16 damagaed. Aside from that, the injured were prevented medical care as Palestinian medics were obstructed by the Israeli army from reaching wounded Palestinians.

Was none of this newsworthy?

Medics are protected under international law. International law applies to Palestinians as well.
I would like to know why CBC did not value the killings of Palestinian medics enough to report on this issue. Certainly, I was writing about it, and when I did speak briefly with CBC during an interview with Anne Marie Tremonti I highlighted this issue. Was it not worthy of follow-up? I would be very pleased to learn that CBC had in fact followed up on the plight of Palestinians medics targeted by Israeli soldiers, who incidentally have been targeted over the years. Since 2000, the Israeli Army has killed at least 56 Palestinian medical rescuers and injured well over 500 more.Since 2000 at least 144 Emergency Medical Team members have been arrested while on duty– including 64 between September 2000 and August 2002. Of these, a total of 49 were beaten, 15 were tortured, six were used as human shields and six required hospitalisation.

For your interest:
The Dominion
Voice of Change
Defend the Rescuers

I look forward to your honest explanation.
Eva Bartlett
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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