July 24, 2014;Irish Times

NPQ has written many times over the past year about violations of human rights and international law in the deliberate attacks against medical facilities in war zones. (This map actually indicates where such attacks have occurred.) There is no question that the medical community should take a stand on the issue, and some members are. Yesterday, in Ireland, doctors and medical staff protested the Israeli administration’s breach of international law in their attacks upon medical facilities and medics.

There are 700 dead in the conflict, mostly civilians, and many more injured. Mahmoud Abu Rahme of the Al Mazan Human Rights Centre in Gaza reports that seven hospitals have been deliberately attacked by Israeli Defense Forces and medics attempting to aid the injured are not being allowed to help.

“At this moment there are people who are buried under the rubble. There are people who are bleeding in various areas in the Gaza strip…We want to insist that this kind of attack on civilians, on houses, on hospitals, on ambulances and other facilities are serious violations of international law.”

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) has also reported attacks on medical personnel by IDF.

In Dublin, Professor Damian McCormack of Temple St. Children’s Hospital said, “We have a clear violation of the principles of medical neutrality through the shelling of hospitals…These are real people and real children; 43 percent of the population in Gaza are kids. Over 700 are dead now and half of them are children. It’s infanticide.” McCormack demanded that the Israeli ambassador to Ireland either explain his country’s actions or leave.

Dr. Paul Connolly, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, likened the situation in Gaza to a “slow grinding genocide.”—Ruth McCambridge