Medical workers and health organizations are suspected of killing two elderly doctors – a neurologist and head of internal medicine at Gaza’s largest hospital – in Attack on Israel in the surrounding Palestinian interior.
The deaths have further exacerbated the medical staff and lack of expertise in the Gaza Strip, the result of a 14 -year blockade which restricts freedom of movement, causes supply shortages and equipment shortages and hinders the advancement of medicine.
Dr Ayman Abu al-Ouf, head of internal medicine at Al-Shifa hospital, was killed along with members of his family in a morning missile attack in Gaza’s al-Wehda district on Sunday.
The bombing killed at least 33 civilians and left rescuers dead. sifting through the rubble in apartment buildings to find survivors.
“It was shocking for me and the entire medical community,” Dr Osaid Alser, a former student at al-Ouf’s who is also with Al-Shifa, told Al Jazeera. “He is one of the oldest internal doctors in Gaza… That means a huge loss to the medical community.”
Dr Mooein Ahmad al-Aloul, a 66-year-old psychiatric neurologist, was also killed at his home in the al-Wehda attack on Sunday, his brother Mazen al-Aloul told Al Jazeera.
He added that his brother, who studied in Egypt and France and worked in Saudi Arabia before he returned to Gaza, worked in a specialist clinic before he died.
Dr al-Aloul’s daughter, 25, Aya, spoke to Al Jazeera by phone from the hospital, saying she and her mother were recovering from shrapnel wounds there.
“Without warning,” he said, “they bombed our house.”
‘Great loss in Gaza’
At least 192 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since the Israeli bombing began, including 58 children, and hundreds have also been injured, Gaza’s medical system, which is already in edge of collapse before the coronavirus epidemic, revolved.
At least 10 Israelis were killed by rockets launched from Gaza.
Medical staff remain in short supply, especially in Gaza where those there are particularly stressed, rights groups say, with many relying on international help groups for medical care.
In particular, there are shortcomings in “family manners [particularly with an orientation to children], neurology, oncology, pediatric surgery and psychiatry ”, according to a 2017 paper published in the BMJ Paediatrics Open medical journal.
Dr Zaher Sahloul, president of MedGlobal, a global health NGO, said “While there are some of the most knowledgeable healthcare workers and doctors in the world [in Gaza], there is a shortage of them. ”
“Especially neurologists … people in this specialty are facing difficulties in Gaza due to the lack of specific equipment needed such as MRI eyes and CT scans, “he told Al Jazeera. “And some of the hospitals don’t have enough training because they can’t travel outside of Gaza.
“The loss of a neurologist is a huge loss in Gaza,” he added.
Jack Byrne, Palestinian state director for the Anera organization, which supports medical infrastructures in the occupied Palestinian territories, said that those killed in these attacks today are “people whose expertise is sorely needed Gaza, where blockade can block the brain and prevent doctors from attending international conferences to learn about the latest developments in their field ”.
Urgent: Dr Marwan AbuSada (Chief of Surgery At Shifa Hospital, largest of #Gaza), we need an urgent need for surgeons (trauma, orthopedics, vascular, neurosurgeon, and plastic) and intensivists to help with the current crisis they face. #GazaUnderAttack @ Sci4Pal
– #SaveSheikhJarrah (@OsaidalserMD) May 16, 2021
He also condemned attacks on Israelis with limited access to any healthcare, including the bombing of a main road leading to Al-Shifa hospital on Sunday and nearby buildings.
The air raids “prevented access to Gaza’s leading hospital”, Byrne told Al Jazeera, “which provides nearly 70 percent of Gaza’s public medical services and nearly 90 percent of emergency medical services. “
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Sunday a clinic providing trauma and burn treatment was hit by an Israeli missile in Gaza City.
‘All he thinks about is caring for the patient’
Dr Alser recounts that he became part of the Gaza brain network, leaving his home to continue the specialist unavailable in the enclave.
He is now a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in the United States, watching attacks from a distance.
He remembers Dr al-Ouf as “the most apolitical man I have ever seen, which is something that is rare in Palestine and especially Gaza”.
He added that Dr al-Ouf has dedicated his life to working in the hospital, where the salary is unfortunate and sometimes absent, in contrast to the more lucrative private clinic.
Palestinian doctors are offering funeral prayers for their colleague Dr Ayman abualouf head of internal medicine at al Shifa hospital in Gaza. He was killed last night at his home in an Israeli air strike along with his 19 -year -old daughter. #Gaza today # GazaUnderAttackk1 pic.twitter.com/87XBCl9sxZ
– Ali Younes (@Ali_reports) May 16, 2021
“What he was thinking about was caring for the patient,” Dr. Alser said. “He used to be very early in the morning and he spent a lot of time caring for patients-helping them and talking to them and explaining their conditions.
“He has a lot of dedication to his patients and even to us as medical students in Palestine,” he said.
Israel has said the airstrikes targeted Hamas personnel and infrastructure and other armed groups in Gaza, and accused the groups of using densely populated areas as human shields.
But the deaths of the doctors are another example of how impartial murder is, according to Dr Alser, who added that he expressed his own opinions, not those of his employer.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to target homes in the middle of the night, killing everyone. It’s just a war crime.”