Updated: THE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN DESTROYED: International Activists Remained in Gaza Hospital Threatened by Israeli Missiles
Editor's Note: We received this press release by email about 9:30 p.m. PST from someone whose email used the name "Irish". It was accompanied by a long list of names and phone numbers of ISM members who are supposed to be in the hospital. At this time we have no way of verifying it, but we thought it was important enough to publish since it might very well be true. It was featured three days ago the Mondoweiss blog: Gaza hospital struck by missiles; int'l volunteers gather to pro
Israel's army fired five warning missiles at El-Wafa geriatric hospital in Gaza City, Gaza. International volunteers now staying in the hospital in solidarity, have said they, "can hear missiles falling close by".
"The civilian population of Gaza is being bombed. We will stay with them in solidarity until the international community and our governments take action to stop Israel's crimes against humanity," states Swedish International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, Fred Ekblad.
The volunteers are citizens of USA, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, France, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The first barrage of missiles hit the fourth floor of the hospital at 2:00AM.
At approximately 19:00 last night a fifth missile hit the hospital. "Windows and doors were blown out, broken glass everywhere, damage to the stairs, there's a big hole at the impact area and the wall is burnt," reports Joe Catron, ISM activist, from the U.S.
At around 20:00 Basman Alashi, executive director of the hospital, received an unidentified call from a person with a, 'heavy Israeli accent', asking if there were any injuries, whether there was any one in the top floor, and whether they were planning to evacuate the hospital.
Alashi says the hospital will not be evacuated because there is nowhere to evacuate the patients too. "El-Wafa hospital serves the patients that need medical attention 24 hours a day. Including patients that can't move, or people who need to be fed by tube. This hospital is the only one in Gaza specializing in the rehabilitation of people who need physical and occupational therapy. All our patients are over 60 years old, men and women. We don't understand why the Israeli forces have fired five rockets at the hospital in the last 24 hours so far. We serve humanity."