Palestinian doctor defies danger to save lives

GAZA: With unwavering courage, Dr. Amira Al-Assouli, a female Palestinian physician, sprinted through Israeli sniper bullets and drones targeting anything in motion to save an injured individual at the entrance of the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis.

Al-Assouli did not hesitate for a moment to risk her life in rescuing a wounded person bleeding near the main entrance of the complex. She swiftly removed her winter coat, rushed towards the injured youth before being joined by another doctor and two other individuals.

In the background of a video circulated on social media, a young man ran behind the ambulance stretcher, boosting the morale of the rescue team, exclaiming, “Heroes… by God, heroes. Bless you all.” Al-Assouli, after the incident, stated, “Our fear was removed from our hearts when I felt that someone needed help. I didn’t think about myself; I thought about saving people.”

She continued, “I returned to work as a volunteer at the Nasser Complex. Our mission since graduation is clear: whenev
er someone needs help, my duty is not to think about myself but to think about saving lives.”

Reflecting on a recent incident, she mentioned, “Some time ago, a young man was martyred under the hospital window. I went to him… Unfortunately, we found him already martyred. We carried him together to the mortuary.”

Al-Assouli, a retired obstetrician from Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis, returned as a volunteer since the beginning of the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza. She holds a Palestinian board in obstetrics and gynecology since 2009 and an Arab board in the same field, along with several courses in gynecological endoscopy.

In a related context, during these times of hardship, paramedics Yusuf Zeino and Ahmed Al-Madhoon undertook a perilous mission amidst severe cold and darkness. They drove an ambulance to the vicinity of the Finance Roundabout in Tel Al-Hawa, southwest of Gaza City, following a plea from the child Hind Rajab to save her life.

Since their move on Monday, January 29, contact has been
lost with both of them. All attempts to reach them or ascertain the fate of the child Hind were unsuccessful.

According to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Wartime, it is prohibited to attack organized civilian hospitals providing care to the wounded and sick.

Yesterday, on Saturday, February 10, 2024, the bodies of the martyrs were discovered: the child Hind Rajab (6 years old), her uncle Bashar Hamada, and his wife and their children Mohammad (11 years old), Layan (14 years old), and Raghad (13 years old).

Hind endured long hours of terror, hunger, cold, and darkness amidst the five corpses of her relatives, while Israeli tanks maneuvered their tracks around their vehicle, showering it with bullets.

The Palestinian Red Crescent posted an audio recording, where the voice of the girl Hind trying to inform emergency services of what was happening can be heard, saying: “Uncle, they’re shooting at us, the tank is next to us. We’re in the car, and the tank is next to us.” After
that, the sound of a barrage of bullets was heard while Hind screamed, and the contact was cut.

While Hind pleaded with the world, Zeino and Al-Madhoon had arrived just a few meters away after coordinating with international and human rights organizations. However, as is customary, the Israeli occupation lacks the slightest ethical considerations in both war and peace, bombarding the ambulance and leaving the two paramedics to burn until they were charred.

No one knows when Hind died, or how long she remained alive among the five bodies, or if she heard the sound of the ambulance, thinking for a moment that her rescue was imminent. Perhaps she witnessed the bombardment of Zeino and Al-Madhoon.

For 12 days, tanks surrounded the bodies, and the girl remained alive for hours, left amidst the five corpses before hope in her rescue was killed. What victory is there over corpses? Over the cries and fears of a 6-year-old girl? Over an ambulance?

Of note, the Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Alkaila, announced
days ago that 340 doctors and healthcare workers in Gaza have been martyred, and around 900 have been injured since the continuous aggression by the occupation began on October 7, 2023. The Israeli authorities continue to arrest 100 medical personnel.

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA