Norwegian doctor: Israel intentionally targeting civilians

David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday January 5, 2009
Doctor estimates 2,000 – 2,500 civilian casualties

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working in Gaza, told Sky News on Monday that that he believes Israel is deliberately attacking the Palestinian population, not just targeting Hamas as Israeli authorities have said numerous times.

“Just a little bit more than an hour ago, the Israelis bombed the central food market in Gaza City and we had a mass influx of about 50 injured and between 10 and 15 killed,” said Gilbert, on the phone with Sky News.

“At the same time they bombed an apartment house with children playing on the roof and we had a lot of children also. This is really like from Dante’s Inferno. It’s like hell here now and it’s been bombing all night. Up till now, close to 500 people have been killed and the number of casualties is getting to 2, 2 and a half thousand, which 50 percent are children and women.”

“Are your hospital’s reaching capacity?” asked the Sky News correspondent. “Can you deal with these people?”

“We have been doing surgery around the clock,” Gilbert replied. “I just talked to to one of my colleagues in the ICU who has not been sleeping for three days and they hospital is completely overcrowded and we are running six, seven OR’s and there are injuries that you just don’t want to see in this world. Children coming in with open abdomens and legs cut off.

“We just had a child who left. We had to amputate both legs and the arms and the only crime they have done is been civilians — Palestinians living in Gaza. The relief now is not more doctors and more drugs the relief now is to stop the bombing immediately. This can not go on. It is a disaster.”

“You’ve talked about the civilians, the women and children, the men who aren’t involved in this but are you also getting casualties that are Hamas fighters?” asked the reporter.

“To be honest, we came on New Year’s Eve in the morning,” answered Gilbert. “I’ve seen one military person among the tens — I mean, hundreds — we have seen and treated. So, anybody who tries to claim this as sort of a clean war against another army are lying.

“This is an all out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza and we can prove that with the numbers and you have to remember that the average age of the Gaza inhabitant is 17-years. It’s a very young population and 80 percent are living below the poverty limit of the U.N.

“So, this is a poor and very young people and they are able to escape absolutely nowhere because they can not flee like other populations can in wartime. Because they are fenced in and they are in a cage. So, they are bombing one and a half million people in a cage. And young people and poor people and, you know, you can not separate between the civilians and the fighters in such a situation.”

This video is fromĀ CBS News, broadcast Jan. 5, 2008.

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