Testimony of doctor returned from Gaza: News of Israel’s use of white phosphorus in Gaza Strip

Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abu Sita, recently returned from Gaza, recounts the horrors of Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip GazaHe hopes his testimony to British police will lead to a trial on charges of war crimes, stressing that he has treated people burned as a result of war crimes. white phosphorus Its use as a chemical weapon is prohibited by international law.

Ghassan Abu Sitta, a 54-year-old surgeon who specializes in treating war wounds, volunteered for 43 days in the Gaza Strip, mostly at Al-Ahly and Al-Shifa hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

The doctor, who holds British citizenship, confirmed that the severity of the current conflict exceeds the severity of other conflicts he has seen while working in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and southern Lebanon. “Like the difference between a flood and a tsunami, the whole spectrum is completely different,” he explained in an interview with AFP.

He stressed, “The large number of children injured and killed, the scale of the disaster, coupled with an intensive bombing campaign that Gaza's health system was unable to cope with within days of the war.”

Tough decisions

According to Palestine, Israel has been waging a devastating war in the Gaza Strip since October 7 last year, which as of yesterday Sunday had left 22,835 martyrs and 58,416 injured, mostly children and women, and damaged infrastructure. to massive destruction, causing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster. and UN sources.

Abu Sita, who was born in Kuwait and has lived in the UK since the late 1980s, arrived in Gaza from Egypt on 9 October as part of a team affiliated with Doctors Without Borders.

“From the beginning, the capacity was smaller than the number of infected people we had to treat,” he recalled. “We had to make hard decisions about who to treat.”

He spoke of the case of a 40-year-old man who was brought to the hospital with shrapnel in his head and needed to be X-rayed and examined by a neurosurgeon, which was not available at the time.

He added: “We told his children about it and they stayed by the stretcher where he was placed that night until he died the next morning.”

The hospital quickly ran out of anesthesia and painkillers, forcing Abu Sita to perform “very painful wound cleaning surgeries” on the injured, which failed to relieve their pain.

“That's the only option available, or watch them (the injured) die from a systemic blood infection,” he explained.

white phosphorus

Abusita confirmed that he had treated patients burned by white phosphorus, the use of which is prohibited by international law as a chemical weapon but is still allowed for the purpose of lighting up battlefields or creating smoke screens.

“This is an injury that can be distinguished from other injuries,” Abusita said. “The phosphorus continues to burn into the deepest parts of the body until it reaches the bone.”

The doctor explained that he left Gaza because there was a shortage of medical equipment and he was unable to perform the surgery.

He said he had spent much of his time since returning to the UK alerting political leaders and humanitarian organizations of the urgent need for aid.

“I try to help (Gaza) patients as much as possible by taking their voices abroad,” he added.

The doctor said he informed London police of the injuries he saw, the types of weapons used, the use of white phosphorus and attacks on civilians.

He also told how he survived the Israeli attack on Al Ahli hospital on October 17 last year.

Abu Sita concluded: “Eventually, justice will come to these people, in five or 10 years, or when they are 80 years old, when the balance of power in the world allows justice to be achieved for the Palestinians.”

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