Palestinians are not numbers
At the end of my assignment on our way through the Rafah crossing back to Egypt, we saw a sea of rows and rows of Egyptian Red Crescent ambulances, just piled up because no patients are getting out. We also saw hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid waiting to get in. The blockade of Gaza seemed no better than when we had arrived. As we left behind the sounds of the constant shelling, it's hard not to think of the Palestinians we leave behind, a population besieged and the humanitarian aid they so desperately need blocked and just out of reach.
The civilian toll of this war is staggering. But the Palestinians of Gaza are not statistics. We talk about a hundred killed in a day, for example, but these are mothers, children, fathers, and professionals including local MSF staff who continue to work while suffering the same devastation. They don’t know if their family is going to get killed while they’re at work; and when they go back home, we, as international staff, don’t know if we’ll see them the next day.
We cannot allow the Palestinians suffering right now in Gaza to be left anonymous. They cannot be reduced to numbers.
* Name changed to protect privacym
** Most staff at Nasser Hospital have since fled due to Israeli forces’ evacuation order for the surrounding areas on January 23, while others remained trapped inside due to heavy fighting around the facility. As of February 7, MSF still has a few staff members at Nasser, though the situation around the hospital continues to change.
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