Wednesday, 7 January 2009

More on Gaza

Let me be clear. I don't care for politics or politicians. They have failed, abysmally. What I care about is innocent people, and especially children, living in such terror, danger, and often real pain, both physically and psychologically.

The official death toll in the Gaza war now stands at over 600 Palestinians, and round about 10 Israelis (apologies if I have made a mistake on the latter number, it seems very low, please feel free to correct me anyone if I have got that wrong). Many of the dead are children, and thousands more are injured.

This evening I watched on the news video footage of paramedics coming under repeated fire as they tried to retrieve a dead body. The paramedic leaving the ambulance was clearly identified by his uniform. 13 shots were fired, one through the dead man's head, which then struck into the paramedic's leg. Apparently over 20 medical personnel have so far been killed in this tragedy.

I also watched the funeral of over 40 people, many children, killed in the recent school bombing, and an old lady being treated in hospital who had been rescued during the 3 hour cease fire. She told how 6 houses had been set alight in her neighbourhood, so the families had all been forced to take refuge in another building, which was then in turn bombed and all the 6 families were killed.

I hope all people of conscience, from all faiths, especially all those within the field of medicine, whose profession it is to treat suffering and save life wherever possible, might rise above the politics and speak out against such terrible violence. Surely every life is of equal value? Can violence ever bring about anything other than further hatred and violence?

Here's a BBC article written about the psychological consequence of the bombing on children on both sides of the conflict. The article mentions research that 30% of children from Sderot were showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 1/3 of children from Gaza were suffering from psychological symptoms that needed intervention. Imagine how many that must be now? What does the future hold for such children? Can we expect them to grow up as stable people? Let us remember 20 years from now where we bred the next generation of terror.

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