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Doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip, have been on the bridge around the clock during the conflict between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. They were surprised by the intensity of the Israeli strikes.
during the eleven days of clashes between Israel and Hamas, doctors from Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza worked tirelessly, like neurosurgeon Maher Kamel. Many of his patients are unaware that they have lost their loved ones.
“Eleven people from his family died. He is one of the only survivors of his family,” he said of a patient.
Dr Kamel has known the three previous wars, but he has no recollection of strikes of such intensity. A little girl he takes care of was affected from the first days of the conflict: “They shelled his house,” he describes. “The patient is unfortunately paraplegic. We were very surprised: during the last war, they warned before bombing; during this war, they bombed houses without any warning. They demolished houses on entire families.”
“We didn’t have time to save them”
Young surgeon Abdul Hadi Abu Shala lived his first war in hospital. He thought he would save dozens of lives, but this offensive did not give him the opportunity: “We did not have many injured patients. Many arrived dying, we did not have time to save them.”
Dr Abu Shala is still scarred by sleepless nights, lack of sleep and constant fear for his family: “My neighborhood has been hit several times. My family was at home trying to stay safe. My wife and my kids live with my parents in the same building. I tried to contact them every time I exploded, when I heard something loud. I tried to contact them to make sure they were okay. In the hospital. , I felt safe because they weren’t going to bomb the hospital of course. “
One morning, the surgeon saw the body of one of his colleagues arrive. This doctor was taking a few hours of rest outside the hospital when a strike hit his building.