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Human shield reports from El-Wafa Hospital in Gaza
by Indyradio
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2014 1:50 AM
I have come to spend 12 hours at el-Wafa with a Swedish activist in the hopes that our presence will deter further Israeli strikes on the hospital. After the bombings on Friday, its administration gathered eight foreign activists in Gaza to ask that we maintain a presence there.Their request was based in a simple logic: that in the eyes of the world’s governments and media, Palestinian blood is cheap, while foreign blood is expensive. It is a tragic calculation, but perhaps not a flawed one.
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'If they take it out, they’ll take us with it'

  Excerpted from  MIDDLE EAST EYE

Joe Catron gives a first-person account of becoming a human shield for the El-Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza

El-Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital is quiet inside. Its staff evacuated most of the patients over a week ago, leaving behind only those too critical to stay with relatives. Entire floors are now empty, with the footsteps of a doctor or nurse down a hallway sometimes breaking their silence.

The 14 remaining patients are the most critical cases.  Alone among the Gaza Strip’s hospitals, el-Wafa specialises in occupational and physical therapy. Its current residents have survived the kinds of traumas, like car and industrial accidents and near-drownings, which have killed others...

...When a missile whistles past, everyone, staff and patients alike, cringes until it crashes somewhere close nearby.

They have reason to worry. Early Friday morning, four Israeli warning rockets – non-explosive missiles sometimes fired at buildings, typically civilian homes, before a larger airstrike – slammed into the hospital’s roof and walls.

Then late in the afternoon, a missile struck its fourth floor, the building’s highest, leaving a gaping hole, shattering windows and unhinging doors.

A short time afterward, Basman Alashi says, the hospital received a telephone call from an Arabic-speaker with an Israeli accent. Without identifying himself, the man asked if anyone had been injured in the strike, and whether the hospital planned to evacuate...

... I have come to spend 12 hours at el-Wafa with a Swedish activist in the hopes that our presence will deter further Israeli strikes on the hospital. After the bombings on Friday, its administration gathered eight foreign activists in Gaza to ask that we maintain a presence there.Their request was based in a simple logic: that in the eyes of the world’s governments and media, Palestinian blood is cheap, while foreign blood is expensive. It is a tragic calculation, but perhaps not a flawed one...

... Late in the afternoon, when a group of foreign journalists arrive, I walk around the hospital with them and Basman. Outside, he seems momentarily taken aback when one of them asks him the obvious question: why would Israel bomb a hospital?

“I can’t tell you what they’re thinking,” he says.

But whatever Israel’s plans for the hospital, its 14 patients stand in the way. And with Gaza’s hospitals full beyond capacity, they have nowhere else to go. That leaves the hospital’s staff no choice but to stay with them, Alashi says. Gesturing at the hospital, which towers behind him in the fading afternoon sun, he tells the reporters, “If they take it out, they’ll take us with it.”

 - Joe Catron, a solidarity activist and freelance writer from the United States, currently lives in Gaza, Palestine. He co-edited The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange, often contributes to the Electronic Intifada, and tweets at @jncatron.

- Complete text and relateds stories: MIDDLE EAST EYE

###

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Mike Novack
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2014 6:02 AM
What is you estimate of the distance (say in meters) between this hospital and the closest point from which rockets or mortars are being fired. Or obvious command post.

Because if that distance isn't at least a couple hundred meters then your problem isn't with the evil Israelis but with those setting up positions too close to a hospital.

If it is at least a couple hundred meters, then the hospital is probably safe from Israeli fire. Again, evil as you might think them to be, they do tend to bother to aim their fire.
by Indyradio
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2014 6:35 AM
Joe Catron ‏@jncatron 41m

#Gaza's el-Wafa hospital is still receiving recorded evacuation orders from the "Israeli" military by telephone. #GazaUnderAttack
by Mike Novack
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2014 2:25 PM
Yes, the Israelis do that. They send warnings by phone and then in the last minutes "knock on the roof" (a dummy mortar round).

But WHY are the Israelis warning that they will hit the hospital? (why are they saying that the hospital has become a target). Is that perhaps related to the first question I asked? If Hamas is shooting from the hospital or has set up a rocket launcher or mortar in the hospital courtyard, etc. then it is NOT the Israelis who would be violating "hospital status" << and that judgement has nothing to do with which side you are on, or it shouldn't ---- it's one thing to argue (for example) that military necessity requires Hamas to use the site but that does NOT alter the fact that in that case it is they who have made it "no longer a hospital" (no longer a position with a claim to immunity)>>
by Stop US Aid to Israel
Wednesday Jul 16th, 2014 9:36 PM
The truth eventually comes out, namely that Zionists are Nazis. After all the founders of Israel were collaborators with Nazi Germany, just as they now collaborate with Nazi USA to perpetrate genocide against Palestinians so as to steal their land and in the case of Gaza, the offshore gas fields. The Electronic Intifada has a good article and video showing Jewish Nazis wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of European fascists, and the words in English: "Good Night Left Side" The article and video are at:

"Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitch" by David Sheen, 7/15/14 at
http://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-calls-palestinian-blood-ring-fever-pitch/13578
The screenshot enlarges the whole short video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzd4pytX7bg

This story was also in Ha'aretz.

The pictures we are seeing of Zionists cheering as they watch the turkey shoot of defenseless Palestinians who have nothing more than glorified firecrackers launched simply as an act of desperation tell the world that we are dealing with vicious, arrogant hoodlums who have lived very comfortable lives at the expense of the US taxpayers, to the tune of $6 billion a year, to maintain the US military base called Israel, to protect US oil profits in the Middle East, and all profits around the world as Israel is a primary foot soldier for US imperialism. The infamous picture of Zionists cheering genocide, which has made it to the New York Times now, is at Russia Today's news at
http://rt.com/news/171320-gaza-hamas-israel-rockets/
see the twitter picture at
https://twitter.com/allansorensen72/status/486954506517639170/photo/1

The story on Gaza's offshore gas fields may be found at:
Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-natural-gas-the-israeli-invasion-and-gaza-s-offshore-gas-fields/11680

The Zionists were aiding open fascists in support of the current Nazi and Confederate flag waving US puppet government in Ukraine. See
"Ukraine: Israeli Special Forces Unit under Neo-Nazi Command Involved in Maidan Riots" by Michel Chossudovsky, 3/3/14 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-israeli-special-forces-unit-under-neo-nazi-command-involved-in-maidan-riots/5371725


The South African trade union, NUMSA, has called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to South Africa and the recall of South Africa's ambassador to Israel and lists many demands for restoration of diplomatic relations. See
http://laborforpalestine.net/2014/07/16/numsa-calls-for-the-immediate-expulsion-of-the-israeli-ambassador-in-south-africa-arthur-lenk/

So far, the US/Israeli genocide machine, supported by 100% of the US Congress and President, and the entire Democrat and Republican Party at every level of office, has murdered 222 Palestinians, 80% of whom are civilians, mostly children, women and old men. See the article and list of names at:
http://www.imemc.org/article/68429
So far, 1,550 have been wounded, the majority being children. Gaza is 50% children.
Only 1 Israeli was killed; he was a volunteer feeding Israeli troops at the border of Gaza. When it is 222 to 1, that means the Palestinians have no defense whatsoever. They have no military, no army, no navy, no air force, no bomb shelters, and their borders are sealed.

We had a report on Flashpoints on KPFA, 94.1 FM, today, July 16, 2014 at 5 p.m., that Israeli drones are flying overhead all over Gaza all the time, so they have effectively invaded Gaza already. We, the American taxpayers, pay for that. Listen at
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/104767

This is the 21st Century version of Indian killing that Nazi USA did to set up its settler colony called the United States. Now, the settler colony, Nazi USA, the largest military hoodlum in the world, is aiding its favorite military base, another settler colony called Israel, which it made the 4th largest military hoodlum in the world, to do the same thing against Palestinians, to maximize the profits of the oil companies and munitions makers, where the greatest profits are. Maximization of profits is the primary goal of capitalism, the bankrupt social order in which we live.

In case it is news to you that Israel as founded by Nazi collaborators, see:
Zionism in the Age of Dictators by Lenni Brenner at
http://www.4shared.com/office/wiu7c6kF/zionism_in_the_age_of_the_dict.html
http://www.pdf-archive.com/2012/04/11/zionism-in-the-age-of-the-dictators/

The Iron Wall by Lenni Brenner at
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/index.htm

The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman at
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/index.htm

51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis edited by Lenni Brenner
(2002) Barricade Books, New Jersey, ISBN 1-56980-235-1

The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black
(1984, 2001) Carroll & Graf, NY, ISBN 0-7867-0841-7
http://www.transferagreement.com/
by Tsahal
Thursday Jul 17th, 2014 10:41 PM
I don't know about Wafa hospital in particular, but during Cast Lead the entire leadership of Hamas hid in a bunker under Shifa hospital, which is likely where they are now. Also, the staff of Wafa hospital claim they can't move their patients, and yet they moved most of their patients to the top floor of the hospital to prevent it from being bombed, along with the moonbats like Joe Catron. So Hamas is likely hiding under a hospital as hippies shield them from the I.D.F.
by Stop US Aid to Israel
Friday Jul 18th, 2014 4:56 AM
Al-Wafa Hospital was totally and illegally destroyed by Nazi Israel, courtesy the US taxpayers. See articles with pictures at:

Doctors Evacuate Patients After Israel Bombs Hospital by Nora Barrows-Friedman, 7/17/14 at
http://www.imemc.org/article/68508
and
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/doctors-evacuate-patients-after-israel-bombs-hospital

"Israel destroys el-Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients" 7/17/14 at
http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients.html

Nora was also on Flashpoints, 7/17/14 at 5 p.m., KPFA, 94.1 FM, in the first 5 minutes, interviewing Dr. Basman Alashi, the executive director of al-Wafa. Listen at:
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/104806

Joe Catron's excellent work may be found on the Electronic Intifada at:
http://electronicintifada.net/people/joe-catron

The International Solidarity Movement has been providing people to attempt to protect hospitals. It is a war crime to bomb hospitals and to bomb civilians. See
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/07/gaza-report-war-against-civilians/

As of July 18, 2014, 264 Palestinians were massacred by Nazi Israel, 1 Zionist killed at Gaza border, where he had no business being as he was a volunteer delivering food to the Nazi Israel troops at the Gaza border which had no business being there. 80% of the dead Palestinians are civilians, including lots of children. Gaza is 50% children. It has no military. Over 2,000 have been injured. Our tax dollars paid for all of the murders and injuries and property destruction. See http://www.imemc.org/article/68429

Nazi Israel says its goal is NOT to oust Hamas. This is all a publicity stunt for politicians in Nazi Israel. See

"Israeli Army: Gaza Invasion Doesn’t Mean to Oust Hamas
Cabinet Eager to Escalate, But Goals Are Unclear" by Jason Ditz, 7/17/14 at http://news.antiwar.com/2014/07/17/israeli-army-gaza-invasion-doesnt-mean-to-oust-hamas/

There is a bar in San Francisco in North Beach that has an "anti-hippie" sign. It is a relic of a bygone era, the 1960s, some 50 years ago. Anything associated with bars is reactionary. It is bars and the barroom scene that must be avoided. When someone attacks solidarity activists as hippies, it is a sure sign that they are police agents.

Nazi Israel has no right to "self-defense" when it comes to occupied territories. It has a legal duty to protect the inhabitants of the occupied territories, not slaughter them and destroy their homes. These glorified firecrackers that some people are firing are simply pathetic protests, much like fish spouting water in a barrel while being shot at. Nazi USA and Nazi Israel, the first and 4th largest military powers in the world, are engaged in shooting fish in a barrel who cannot escape from their open air prison and have no underground shelters, unlike the Zionists in Nazi Israel.
by Indyradio
Friday Jul 18th, 2014 9:44 AM
the first person who responded to this article, offered no information at all, but tried to turn it into a discusion about whether the hospital is a source of Hamas attacks.

In 2 words, fuck you. Read the reports of truth coming in.
by Mike Novack
Friday Jul 18th, 2014 1:15 PM
You consider that irrelevant ???? (a "change of subject")

This then isn't a matter of Palestinians vs Israelis. We have a fundamental difference of opinion about the status of "civilian sites" AFTER they have been occupied and are being used by one side or the other in a military conflict. Not just this conflict but any conflict.

You apparently believe that the site retains its immunity from attack and I, following the usually accepted "rules of war", believe that the occupation for military purposes has unfortunately stripped the site of its immunity AND that the fault for that lies with whoever occupied the site for military purposes.

Which is why you think I was changing the subject by asking for an answer of fact (has/had the site been occupied for military purposes). You considered that irrelevant change of subject. I do respect your right to take an unconventional position, that the "rules of war" SHOULD be different than they are. In which case you could, have clearly stated that you considered my question irrelevant BECAUSE you were taking an unconventional (and not generally accepted) position that in a situation like this, EVEN if occupied for military purposes, a hospital would retain it's immune to attack status. YOU need to state that precisely because that isn't what is generally accepted.
by Stop US Aid to Israel
Friday Jul 18th, 2014 9:20 PM
On July 18, 2014 at 5 p.m., on Flashpoints, on KPFA, 94.1 FM, we heard a medical doctor with a slight Norwegian accent, Dr. Mads Gilbert, provide us in excellent English with an outstanding listing of war crimes perpetrated by Nazi Israel, at the behest of Nazi USA, as well as what he correctly describes as the barbarism of the massacre of the Palestinian people. Listen at
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/104832
He describes Israel's (and by funding, the US) war crimes as follows:
1. The Collective Punishment, including the siege
2. Indiscriminate Shelling of Civilian Areas, not protecting civilians
3. Disproportionate use of force

He correctly states that hospitals are protected by international law and it is a war crime to bomb hospitals. It is also a crime to stop water, electricity, food to civilians. In fact, ISRAEL HAS NO RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE IN TERRITORY IT OCCUPIES. IT HAS A DUTY TO PROTECT THE OCCUPIED POPULATION.

You can hear and see him at Democracy Now on July 14, 2014 at
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/14/norwegian_physician_treating_wounded_civilians_stop
From this Democracy Now interview:
"As for the injuries, there are all types of war injuries, from shrapnel injuries to these very extreme damages from the DIME weapons, the DIME explosives, the dense inert metal explosives, that they are using, carried by Hellfire rockets connected to the drones of Israeli, and they are extremely destructive. So people are torn apart. I mean, they’re split at their midlevel. They lose their arms and legs, and they’re killed. They’re charcoaled by the burns, if they are hit by these DIME explosives. We have had gruesome, absolutely gruesome injuries, which people cannot actually watch. But the most important injuries are those who maim without killing. I was just tending to a 24-year-old Palestinian student who has lost both his legs at hip level. We had to amputate both his legs. Both arms severely burned, now he has septicemia. And it’s really a hard struggle, even for a well-equipped American university hospital with all supplies and peace and security, to handle one such patient. Now they have by the hundreds. The other patient I tended to was a five-year-old. His house was bombed. The roof of the ceiling of his bedroom fell on his head. He has a closed head injury, very severe. We don’t know if he will survive."

More US/Israeli war crimes are described by medical doctors at
"Israel Drops Cancer-inducing Bombs on Gazans", 7/19/14 at
http://www.imemc.org/article/68526
Pertinent paragraphs:
Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, is an explosive device developed to minimize damage to things that are incidental to the intended target, known as "collateral damage".

The bombs reportedly effect a relatively small but rather significantly damaging blast radius, and are believed by medical experts to have severe biological effects on those hit with the bomb’s micro-shrapnel.

DIME munitions were developed by the US Air Force, in 2006, and have since been tested repeatedly on the people of Gaza, who, according to the Electronic Intifada, have long served as involuntary lab rats for Israel’s weapons industry. See http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israel-firing-experimental-weapons-gazas-civilians-say-doctors

DIME bombs contain tungsten, a cancer-causing metal which helps to produce blasts which slice through flesh and bone, often completely destroying the lower limbs of people within the blast radius.

See related link: Israel DIME Weapon effect on Gaza-Article and Gallery
http://artintifada.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/israel-dime-weapon-effect-on-gaza-article-and-gallery/

**************************
The doctor also says that some Palestinians in the besieged enclave have been wounded by a new type of weapon which even doctors with previous experience in war zones do not recognize.

Israel has used banned weapons in the past, including depleted-uranium and white phosphorus, which is nearly impossible to extinguish and leaves its victim hideously burned and scarred, should he or she even survive such an attack.
*******************
As of July 19, 2014, there are 303 dead Palestinians, 80% civilians. Over 2,000 are injured, often losing limbs. See the names and ages at
http://www.imemc.org/article/68429

Dr. Gilbert states the primary need in Gaza:
"As a medical doctor, you know, my appeal is: Don’t send bandages. Don’t send syringes. Don’t send medical teams. The most important medical thing you can do now is to force Israel to stop the bombing, and it is to lift the siege of Gaza. Then the Palestinians will manage well themselves."

THAT MEANS THERE MUST BE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AT ALL THE DEMONSTRATIONS to stop the genocide in Gaza. In San Francisco on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 3 p.m., we have a demonstration at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, opposite Market Street, Embarcadero BART/Muni Metro. For more information, see:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/07/17/18758755.php