Medical personnel evacuated from Gaza and 3 Americans refuse to leave

Medical personnel evacuated from Gaza and 3 Americans refuse to leave

About 20 Americans Medical and British workers who were unable to leave Gaza were evacuated from the European Hospital in Khan Yunis on Friday, although three American members of the medical missions refused to evacuate until Israel allowed additional aid workers to replace them. They remain at work, alongside doctors and staff from separate medical missions, to serve the population of Gaza without escape.

The missions were scheduled, as is often the case, to last for two weeks before a new group of relief workers rotated in with fresh supplies. But after Israel seized and closed the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, nothing could get in or out, neither supplies nor people.

“If Americans left all and only one time, what would that say about us as a nation?”

Among the three Americans who refused to leave was Adam Hamwi, a New Jersey doctor and Army veteran who insisted on staying behind to protect and serve his patients.

“There is definite gloom and foreboding in the hospital. The children and staff are asking for everyone by name. All the Americans and Britons have left. That can’t be a good sign,” Al-Hamawi said.

“The decision some of us made to stay was consistent with our American values. We came as one team and left no one behind. If all Americans left at once, what would that say about us as a nation?

While serving in the Iraq War, Al-Hamawi was the doctor who treated the current senator. Tammy Duckworth, Democrat from Illinois, when her helicopter was shot down. Duckworth credits Al-Hamawi with saving her life Click Israel and the Foreign Ministry must find a way to release the medical workers.

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Al-Hamwi said that the mission’s crew was placed in an impossible situation.

“Even though we feel like we’re abandoning our patients, we all knew this was going to happen from day one,” he said, given the short-term nature of the mission. “We will have to hand over our patients to a new team. Unfortunately, we will have to leave this burden on our overworked Palestinian colleagues. The three Americans who stayed behind opened the opportunity for three Britons to leave.”

Al-Hamwi said that 16 medical workers are still in the hospital. This includes citizens of Egypt, Ireland, Australia, and Jordan, countries with less political influence than the United States. Other missions, some including Americans, remain active elsewhere in Gaza.

Staff and patients fear that without Americans in the hospital to serve as political shields against the IDF, the hospital will be destroyed, as the IDF has done to every other hospital in Gaza.

“It was an exhausting journey and a very bitter departure,” said Monica Johnston, a nurse who was initially opposed to leaving without replacing new aid workers, but eventually agreed to leave. “Politics and the injustice in it make me angry.” Johnston said that shelling around the hospital had escalated in recent days.

Rotating to a new mission has taken on added importance given the blockade of medical supplies, with each new mission arriving with its own supplies. Al-Hamawi said: “Refusing to allow basic humanitarian aid to enter is a failure of the international community.”

Dr. Musab Nasser, who led the Fajr scientific mission to the hospital, took a more optimistic approach in a statement issued after his safe arrival in Jerusalem. “I am pleased to announce that the Fajr team (which includes 12 Americans and 3 British citizens) has been successfully recovered by the US and UK embassies from the Kansas crossing near Gaza,” Nasser wrote, referring to Al-Hamawi and another volunteer. . “The team will spend a day in Jerusalem before returning to the US and UK on Sunday. Two Fajr volunteers remain in Gaza to continue their life-saving work. They will soon exit Gaza as part of a UN rotation of emergency medical teams, in cooperation with the World Health Organization. (The third American who stayed behind was part of a separate mission, as was Johnston, at the same hospital.)

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“This achievement highlights Fajr Scientific’s impressive coordination with international entities, including the State Department, the US Embassy in Jerusalem and Cairo, the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv, the US Embassy in Muscat, Oman, the World Health Organization, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.” And CLA, and others.” He continued, “Yes, we left Gaza, but Gaza left an indelible mark on us, and it will remain with us forever. We promise that we will return again very soon.”

The statement angered some staff who remained there and at other medical facilities.

Dorotea Gucciardo, an aid worker in Rafah with the medical solidarity organization Glia Equal Care, said the international focus on Western doctors risks obscuring why they are there: the ongoing Israeli occupation and attack on Gaza. “We have international organizations, we have national governments that are all working together to open borders to this really privileged group of people,” she said. “Our main goal is not that we are stuck here and we need to get out. Our main goal is to ensure that patients are taken care of. I think the focus should be put back on why these humanitarian workers were here to begin with, which is the occupation. This blockade and the ongoing war on Gaza.”

“I hear some international aid workers saying: ‘It can’t get any worse than this,'” she said. “However, if we really take a look at the context and if we take a look at history, we will see that it could get worse. It has gotten worse and it is still getting worse. And so we can do the best we can while we are here to support our hosts in Gaza and our colleagues. But what we need is “It is for this war to end. We need this siege to end, this siege to end, and the occupation to end, so that we can finally get aid as well.”

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Dr. Hala Chikholismi, an American doctor from California who also volunteers with JALIA, said the situation puts the precarious prospects for Palestinians into stark relief: “You know that we hope that this will end and that we will be able to return home. Unfortunately, Gazans have no such expectations.

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