Mads Gilbert
© AFP
Mads Gilbert
Last updated: November 20, 2014
The injustice: Why has Israel banned Dr Mads Gilbert from entering Gaza?

"Those innocent civilians who have suffered harm have a right to truth and justice"

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Dr Mads Gilbert, a renowned Norwegian doctor, who had dedicated his time to treat innocent civilians that were injured in the Gaza conflict, has been banned from re-entering Gaza. But on what grounds?

Israel ridiculously cited that Dr Gilbert has been barred due to “security reasons”.  This excuse is an injustice of human rights and a disillusioned attempt to silence Dr Gilbert from speaking out against the Israeli government.

Does Israel really think that by barring Dr Gilbert it will change the view of millions of people around the world, who believe that the bombing of Gaza and brutal massacring of innocent civilians was wrong?  Will it stop international humanitarian attempts to shed light on the facts and bring those held accountable to justice?

GILBERT STATED in the Independent that, “This is not about me. This is about Israel denying the Palestinian people in Gaza international support (…) To deny professionals from the medical field the right to go to Gaza is another aspect of the collective punishment. They’re exercising the siege in an increasingly harsh and brutal way”.

The injustice of human rights and free speech is evident in this case. Israel was clearly angered that Dr Gilbert had spoken the truth about the violation of human rights that it continued to impose against the people of Gaza.

"Does Israel really think that by barring Dr Gilbert it will change the view of millions of people?"

Gilbert further went on to say that, “I’ve done nothing wrong. The truth on the ground is very inconvenient for Israel. Anyone who conveys that truth is unwanted.”

In July 2014 Gilbert worked tirelessly at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza to help with the immeasurable casualties that were caused due to Israeli bombings. Many of the victims that were severely injured and killed were children. Dr Gilbert rightly condemned the Israeli government for the number of civilians that had been injured and killed in the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.

Gilbert has played a crucial role in providing the much-needed medical intervention to the civilians of Gaza and had openly expressed his passionate views on Israel’s unjustified military campaign against the Gaza strip to the media. Israel had previously banned all international media from reporting from the Gaza strip. However Gilbert bravely spoke out on the first hand experiences working at Al Shifa hospital and seeing the horrors first hand.

Norwegian ministers have garnered support for Gilbert by opposing the ban and trying their best to get it lifted

“From the Norwegian perspective, we have raised Gilbert’s exclusion from Gaza and asked Israel to change their decision,” Norwegian Secretary of State Bard Glad Pedersen told domestic media.

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Gilbert told MEE in a statement that, “I was rejected on 1 October when I was standing at Erez with a valid Israeli permit for multiple entries, an invitation from the Palestinian Ministry of Health and a recommendation from the director at my hospital in north Norway,”

Gilbert further stated that, “I have never violated Israeli law, never been arrested and never lied,” and added “it is completely unacceptable to restrict the movement of humanitarian personnel – much needed in Gaza now after the last bombardment.”

THERE ARE COUNTLESS obstacles that need to be overcome in order to expose the intolerances of governments and the many accounts of human rights violations that go underreported in the world today. Many governments around the world continually try to manipulate the law and conceal their crimes from international criticism to satisfy their own political advantage.

Those innocent civilians who have suffered harm have a right to truth and justice.  Those parents who have lost their children and livelihoods through unjustifiable bombing and bloodshed have a right to humanitarian aid and medical intervention.  Those brave and passionate individuals helping in Al Shifa hospital should have the right to freely express the horrors that they have witnessed in Gaza.  When will the truth stop being supressed by those in power?

The Israeli government need to be held accountable of their decisions and motives so that it will provide a level of deterrence and can help to make better policies and laws.

I believe that Dr Gilbert is a hero in his own right and has worked selflessly to help those in need in Gaza and should be given his right to continue to do the great work he does in the Gaza strip.

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