Amira Hass: Palestinian doctor killed by IDF while treating Gaza wounded

Amira Haas | Haaretz, Israel,

Click here for more articles by Amira Hass

A 28-year-old Palestinian doctor in the Gaza refugee camp of Jabalya was killed by Israel Defense Forces fire this week while on his way to remove casualties from a building being targeted by Israeli missiles, according to the Mizan human rights group in Gaza.

His death raises the death toll of medical personnel killed by the IDF to seven since December 27, human rights groups said. In addition, three hospitals and four health clinics were damaged by gunfire in the last few days, Palestinian sources said.

Dr. Issa Salah, a member of the Palestinian civil defense services, and his team reached the building where the casualties were located around 4:30 P.M. Monday, a few minutes after it was hit by a missile fired by an Israeli helicopter.

The residents ran out, having learned that the first such missile is a warning to residents to evacuate the building, before additional missiles demolish it.

But not everyone made it in time; an 18-year-old girl was killed and four residents, including two children, were wounded in the second missile strike.

Salah was killed, and one of his colleagues wounded, in the third missile strike, while on their way to remove the woman and the four residents from the site and get them medical treatment.

Meanwhile, the dead woman’s 23-year-old sister and another woman, 20, were killed in continued Israeli shelling of the building.

Five others were wounded.

Salah’s death underscores the difficulty Palestinians face in removing casualties from the scene.

As of last night, Palestinian sources said, Palestinian rescue forces have so far been unable to coordinate the evacuation of casualties with the IDF in at least four locations, where the IDF has encountered resistance: Jabalya and the Gaza City neighborhoods of Sajaiyeh, Tufah and Zeitun.

Related articles:

· Amira Hass / Gazans doing their best to avoid becoming death statistics

· Human Rights Watch: IDF phosphorous bombs in Gaza violate int’l law

· Life in the Gaza war zone

· Hamas executes collaborators and restricts Fatah movement

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