08 December 2007

The people of Gaza have never suffered so much as now

If you live in the ghetto which is Gaza, do not get ill. Is your wife approaching term with her pregnancy? Pray to Allah, because there might be no nitrous oxide for her pain relief, or for an anaesthetic if she needs an emergency Caesarian delivery.

Gaza – Ma'an Press Agency – A delegation of doctors from Germany, Switzerland and Spain visited the Gaza Strip on Friday, warning the world of a looming humanitarian disaster there if the Israeli siege continues.

"It is unjust to punish the people as a whole. Israel is detaining all the Palestinians in a big prison 'Ghetto' similar to what happened with the Jews in World War Two," said Dr Walter Conti, a Swiss physician who led the delegation.

Conti called on Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 and implement relevant United Nations resolutions.

Israel has closed the Gaza Strip's border crossings, and restricted essential supplies of food, fuel, electricity, building supplies and medicine. Last week the Palestinian Health ministry warned that Gazan hospitals are running out of fuel used to run emergency generators.

Dr Abdur-Rahman Jandali, also a Swiss citizen, described the situation in Gaza Strip as life-endangering.

A nurse named Barbel Costabelly expressed her astonishment at the Gazan people's "tolerance and steadfastness" in appealing to Israel to open the border crossings and grant Palestinians their full rights.

The delegation met with the Popular Committee for Countering the Siege in Gaza Strip. Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the committee and also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, briefed the European delegation on the health situation in Gaza Strip.