Dr. Gilbert held back in Gaza

January 8th, 2009 

Flemming Trondsen

Dr. Mads Gilbert (left) during one of the many operations at
the Shifa hospital in Gaza, Palestine. Photo: ScanPix.

The Israelis won’t permit the convoy to leave Gaza.

The Norwegian doctors Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert had planned on leaving Gaza today, and just before 1 o’clock (pm) Norwac’s co-ordinator, John Eivind Jensen, informed that everything was going as planned.

The doctors had intended to take part in a convoy that were to take 10–15 patients out of Gaza City, but this convoy now has been prevented from leaving the area.

-The Israelis won’t let the convoy pass, Dr. Gilbert says to Aftenposten.no.

The convoy consists of 10-15 ambulances, and several of the wounded need to be transported elsewhere for treatment.

-Now we’ve had to take the people most seriously wounded out of the ambulances and back into the intensive care unit again, Gilbert says despairingly.

He thinks the reason for stopping the convoy could be that the Israelis now are bombing the area where it would have to pass through on its way to Egypt.


He has asked FM Støre for help

He now directs an urgent appeal to the international community. It is unacceptable, he says, that it does not ensure an open corridor for the wounded and medical personnel.

He also has asked Foreign Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, to help ensure that the Shifa hospital is given international protection. He is outraged at what’s happening, and thinks it is in breach of all international conventions.

Overcrowded hospital

The hospital is filled beyond capacity, and a great number of wounded are treated there each day. The injuries are horrible beyond belief, he says.

The very high number of patients is a heavy strain on the doctors and other medical personnel. Gilbert says that the doctors have only been getting 1-2 hours of sleep each night. I am very, very tired he says, but this is nothing compared to the heavy burden on the Palestinians.

We don’t know if the convoy will be permitted to leave, but at the same time the bombing goes on non-stop! The bombs keep falling 24/7, he says. Yesterday the bombing even went on during the 3-hour ceasefire. The convoy has not been given any information as to when it may possibly be allowed to leave.

It’s been 13 days of hell, the experienced doctor says.

Source: http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article2855787.ece

[Translated from Norwegian by the editors]

Norwegian doctor report from Gaza