Israeli soldiers stand on a Merkava tank stationed at an army deployment along the Israeli Gaza border, on July 22, 2014
Israeli soldiers stand on a Merkava tank stationed at an army deployment along the Israeli Gaza border, on July 22, 2014 © Jack Guez - AFP
Israeli soldiers stand on a Merkava tank stationed at an army deployment along the Israeli Gaza border, on July 22, 2014
AFP
Last updated: July 23, 2014

European doctors slam Gaza assault

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Two dozen European doctors who had previously worked in Gaza expressed their dismay in a leading medical journal Tuesday at the plight of the wounded and ill in the conflict.

"Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited," the group of 20 doctors from Italy, Britain and Norway wrote in The Lancet.

"Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade. They have run out now."

Along with reports of hospitals being shelled, there were also allegations of "threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys," wrote the group.

"We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues."

They urged others in the medical fraternity to speak out, and expressed dismay that "only five percent of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza.

"We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this five percent, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza."

The letter was signed by genetics professor Paola Manduca of the University of Genoa in Italy, Sir Iain Chalmers of the James Lind Library at Oxford, Derek Summerfield of Kings' College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Mads Gilbert of the University Hospital of North Norway's Clinic of Emergency Medicine, and Swee Ang, an orthopaedic surgeon at Barts and the Royal London Hospital, on behalf of 24 doctors.

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