Monday 8 July 2024

Israel says Doctors Without Borders staffers are terrorists who deserve to be killed

 A medic of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, was killed in a recent airstrike in Gaza. Amid the public backlash, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that the MSF staff was a "terrorist" working for Palestinian Islamic Jihad so he deserved what happened to him.

In fact, the IDF has released photos claiming to be proof that Fadi al-Wadiya, who was killed in an airstrike on Tuesday, was a "significant operative" in the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza.

Fadi Al-Wadiya served as an operative for the militant group for more than 15 years and helped build rockets used against Israeli cities, IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee said. He added that Al-Wadiya was the armed group's "expert in the fields of electronics and chemistry."

"A physiotherapist by day, a jihad operative by night," Adraee said, arguing that the case is "a reminder of how terrorist organizations in Gaza use international aid organizations as a human shield."

MSF has already rejected the claims, saying Al-Wadiya was killed when riding a bicycle to the clinic where he worked. "Killing a healthcare worker while on his way to provide vital medical care to wounded victims of the endless massacres across Gaza is beyond shocking; it is cynical and abhorrent," said Caroline Seguin, MSF operations manager for Palestine.

"Fadi was executed by an Israeli strike and no proof of any wrongdoing on his part has been shared with MSF. Only an independent investigation will be able to establish the facts," the aid group's statement also included when it was released on Wednesday. The organization said five other people, including three children, were killed by the same airstrike. Al-Wadiya was the sixth member of MSF and one of more than 500 health workers killed by the Israeli forces since the fighting erupted in Gaza eight months ago, the organization said.  

Back in February, Israel already attacked a shelter belonging to MSF in the Gaza Strip, killing at least two people. "Tonight Israeli forces conducted an operation in Al Mawasi, Khan Younis, Gaza, where a shelter hosting MSF staff and their families was shelled," MSF posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"While details are still emerging, ambulance crews have now reached the site, where at least two family members of our colleagues have been killed and six people wounded. We are horrified by what has taken place," it added.

Two healthcare workers are killed in Gaza every day, a British charity reveals

According to the British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, 500 healthcare workers have been murderedhaplessly in Gaza since Israel’s genocidal attacks began in the enclave.

Israel retaliated following the Hamas militant group's massacre of more than 1,000 people and the taking of Israeli hostages on Oct. 7. The IDF has been waging a military campaign in Gaza which has so far killed more than 37,000 people.

"As of 25 June, 500 healthcare workers have been killed in Gaza since Israel's military assault began in October. This equates to an average of two healthcare workers killed every day, with one in every 40 healthcare workers, or 2.5 percent of Gaza's healthcare workforce, now dead," the charity said in a statement Wednesday. "More healthcare workers have been killed in Gaza since October than were reported killed in all conflicts globally in 2021 and 2022 combined," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Office released a statement on Tuesday saying that the killings have occurred against the backdrop of systematic attacks on hospitals and other medical facilitiesin violation of the laws of war.

Israel has been in disagreement with the UN for months after the organization's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in October that Hamas' attack "did not happen in a vacuum." The international organization accused Israel of carrying out "56 years of suffocating occupation." Due to this, Israel demanded Guterres' ouster back in January.

Attacking hospitals is considered a war crime by the International Criminal Court, but they can lose their protected status under international law if used for military purposes. Israel has justified attacks on healthcare facilities based on sometimes-disputed claims that Hamas is using them for various military reasons.

Tanya Haj-Hassan, a medical doctor who volunteered in a hospital in March, told the charity: "Palestinian healthcare workers have told me that when they leave the hospital, civilians give them civilian clothing because wearing scrubs is putting a target sticker on their back."

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