Doctors in Gaza have commemorated their colleagues who were killed by Israel during "Operation Cast Lead" two years ago. The group staged a protest to mark the anniversary of the Gaza War and the abuses perpetrated by Israel against ambulance crews and medical staff during its assault and invasion in 2008/9. Ambulance crews marched in solidarity with the doctors. Sixteen medical personnel were killed whilst on duty during the Israeli assault; thirty-three health centres were destroyed.
The General Manager of the Al-Shifa Hospital, Medhat Abbas, took the opportunity to warn of the continuing dangers posed by the toxic substances in the weapons used by Israel during the war. Analysis of biological samples have proved that the Israelis used more than 30 toxic metals during the attack on Gaza, and that uranium and phosphorus bombs were used against civilians; this is banned by international law. Israel also used gas bombs, the research claims, which have contributed to human embryos being deformed.
Mr Abbas appealed to medical delegations visiting Gaza to report back to health organisations and international humanitarian organisations on the situation so that the health status and the acute shortage of medical supplies and devices and medicines in the Gaza Strip can be relieved. He also called on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to supply Gaza with its fair share of life-saving drugs on an on-going basis.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad