Paris- The PALMED Association of Palestinian Doctors in Europe sent the first humanitarian medical mission to the Gaza Strip between 22 January and 6 February, led by Professor Raphael Petit, a former military physician and expert in war and humanitarian medicine.
The doctors arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport on the outskirts of the French capital Paris yesterday, Tuesday, after working for 10 days at the European hospital in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.
Upon its arrival, the mission described the humanitarian situation in the besieged area as catastrophic, due to inadequate international humanitarian assistance, complete absence of normal means of life, and lack of water, medicine, food, and electricity. Such as the emergence of infectious diseases and malnutrition in children.
The delegation also pointed out the huge damage caused to medical facilities and hospitals during the 4 months of war and the doctors expressed deep sorrow over the martyrdom of a large number of medical personnel.
first medical mission
The mission included a specialized nurse in the operating room and 6 doctors of different specialties: orthopedics, abdominal surgery, gastroenterology, gynecology, emergency medicine and intensive care anesthesia.
The medical staff, in addition to providing expertise to their colleagues in the field of surgery and war medicine, also allocated essential care to residents of the area suffering from psychological trauma as a result of constant bombardment by the occupying forces.
Nizar Badran, a surgeon and member of the Palestinian Doctors Association “Pamad”, said: The mission's visit was coordinated through an American medical humanitarian institution, not through French authorities, indicating that the association was closely related to other organizations. Takes care of the issues. And cost, accordingly.
Badran said in his interview with Al Jazeera Net, that “the delegation purchased medical equipment from France and Egypt,” adding that only a small amount of it entered, and “carried them by hand, or in bags. “Because cars cannot cross the border point at the Rafah crossing”.
This was confirmed by another doctor who was part of the delegation – who preferred to remain anonymous – saying: “The medical equipment for the orthopedic surgery was taken from a British colleague at the airport.”
For her part, Olivia Zemmour, head of the “Boycott Israel” organization, who welcomed the delegation with flowers and a banner on which she wrote “Thank you” in several languages, praised the “courageous act” carried out by the French earlier. . The mission to the Gaza Strip, at the same time, condemns the French position which remains adamant. He did not demand a ceasefire and did not encourage South Africa in its advocacy against Israel, as he had said.
He added, “We are deeply disappointed by France, which has withdrawn its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). This is a very dangerous case that would allow the occupation to continue genocide. Encourages.”
The testimony of those doctors, who had lived through full-scale war conditions, for a few days before being transferred to a European hospital, was similar to the testimony of their Palestinian colleagues in the Rafah hospital, as they all particularly reflected on the appalling conditions of the health facilities. Used to shed light. In Gaza Strip.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, orthopedic surgeon Moammen Barkawi said, “A mosque located next to a hospital in Rafah was targeted by the occupation forces, and this was repeated during his work at Khan Younis Hospital, Where one of its walls had collapsed due to bombing by occupation aircraft.
Barkawi described the cases he treated, “Most of them were open fracture wounds that sometimes required amputation, besides many burns and severe lacerations to the limbs.”
In turn, anesthesiologist Shams al-Din Bushkour said, “The hospital was crowded with patients and their families, who remained inside, and they took its roof as a shelter to protect themselves from the missiles, as their houses They were destroyed and had no other place to live.” Go.”
When asked about the shortage of medicines in hospitals and many operations being performed without anesthesia, Bouchacore explained that although surgeons were able to perform operations using anesthesia, strong painkillers such as morphine began to run out, leading to a new health crisis. indicates the occurrence of. Distress and pain that no person can bear, despite what he said.
hero under bombardment
Palestinian doctors, who, despite a shortage of medical equipment and dangerous and harsh working conditions, are still working in hospitals in the Gaza Strip, had the biggest stake in the medical delegation's story.
Barkawi, of Palestinian origin, said that when the mission arrived the doctors were happy “because they were finally able to relax,” adding that they “love their work very much, but psychologically the exhaustion and the fatigue really wears on them.” Dominated” and physically.
Iman Marafi, the only nurse in the delegation who specializes in emergency and recovery, described her colleagues at the European hospital as “respectful and dignified”, and despite all the harsh conditions, “they live in dignity.”
Marafi told Al Jazeera Net that Palestinian doctors “do not complain to anyone about their situation, and do not reveal what is inside them, because they are in a state of collective mourning, so they are just immersed in work.” Are.”
Badran, a member of the Palestinian Doctors Association, praised “the great role played by Palestinian medical teams” since the beginning of the war on 7 October, saying: “These are our allies and friends. Some of them were martyred, and some of them Their houses were destroyed. I lost a friend of mine who was a pediatrician in Khan Yunis, who was martyred along with his children and wife.”
Badran said: “They were very tired from the constant work and pressure for 4 months, but the heroic Palestinian doctors remained at their jobs and did not quit, and even those who were arrested asked for release.” Returned to his profession immediately afterwards.”
All members of the “Palmed” association and its medical delegation stressed the need for a comprehensive ceasefire. Because this is the only solution that will allow international aid accumulated in Egypt to reach Egypt, and they “will continue to send our delegations to the Gaza Strip, and we call on the French and European authorities to better facilitate our humanitarian missions “