Published: 16 November, 2012, 02:36
In heavily populated Gaza scores of civilians have been killed or injured in the latest attacks by Israeli forces. Human rights activists report from its largest hospital that some of the injuries are “consistent with the use of white phosphorous”.
RT spoke with two human rights activists, Adie Mormech and Joe Catron, who have witnessed the mounting civilian casualties at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza following the first day of Israel’s military operation “Pillar of Defense”.
‘People completely exposed to the fourth most powerful military in the world’
RT: We’re now joined live from embattled Gaza by human rights activist Adie Mormech. Thank you for coming on. Israeli officials are hailing the operation as a “successful series of pinpoint strikes with minimal collateral damage.” Does that sound right to you?
Adie Mormech: I’ve just come back from Shifa hospital, and every single ambulance that comes in every 10 minutes was elderly or children coming into the hospital. I saw a girl arrive early on and she didn’t have a hand, just pulled out of the ambulance. It is the civilians who are the majority of the injured that are coming in to Shifa. We’ve just spent time in the intensive care unit, there was a little girl that arrived, she was just one year old, Hanin Tafish, and she was not showing any signs of life. Her little body was being moved around and then about an hour afterwards we heard that she too had passed away. This was after another airstrike. There are so many children and men and women that are being killed, being injured, and this is a massive, massive crime against a defenseless population. We’ve seen it before during operation Cast Lead, they killed 330 children and 1,400 adults, what’s going to happen now? How on earth have we allowed this to take place again, this kind of carnage is developing, now there’ll be more blood and we know that Israel does not hesitate for one second about killing lots and lots of civilians. These are crimes against humanity and war crimes as the United Nations report exposed in the previous attacks on Gaza.
RT: Russia says Israel is using disproportionate level of force against in its relations with the Palestinians. But it must also be mentioned there’re two sides to this and both sides are using weapons. What is being done by Hamas to protect civilians? Are people able to reach bomb shelters in time and get the medicine they need?
AM: How on earth can there be any bomb shelters in Gaza, Gaza is one of the most tightly packed places in the world, one of the most crowded places on the planet. How on earth can there be enough bomb shelters? People are completely exposed to the fourth most powerful military in the world. The bombs are raining down on them, it is an attack on a defenseless population, over the half the population are children. There’s 130 injured now and the toll is rising…13 killed, the toll is rising. And we’re expecting more and more, Israel has said it will increase the attacks. There’s a bomb now, just heard it in the background, we’ve just heard the sound of it. Every 10 minutes there’s ambulance arriving… I just think it’s time for everybody to look at this situation!
RT: Hamas has vowed to unleash “hell” on Israel in response – will the movement be able to deliver on its threat?