“How long can this go on? How long?” This was the cry of Ayman al-Sahbani, head of the emergency department at the al-Shifaa hospital in Gaza City, as medical facilities in Gaza struggled to cope with those wounded in protests on May 14, 2018.
Background: The protests were part of the ongoing Great March of Return, a series of demonstrations calling attention to the Palestinians’ right to return to lands from which their families were displaced 70 years ago in 1948 and to the suffocating blockade under which Palestinians in Gaza have lived for 11 years. The Israeli military has responded with lethal force to the protests.
Since 30 March, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, and another 12,271 injured, including hundreds of children. In addition, medical personnel and facilities have also come under fire, resulting in the injury of 211 medical staff and damage sustained to 25 ambulances, according to WHO. Hospitals are at the brink of collapse, unable to deal with the vast number of injured as a result of the blockade and insufficient electricity, medical supplies and equipment.
On May 16, Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that Canada was joining the call for an independent investigation to ascertain whether Israel employed an excessive use of force.
Faith reflection: “The Psalmist laments and cries out, ‘How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?’ Palestinians have long asked ‘how long?’ and looked for signs that they are not forgotten.” – Excerpt from “70 years on: Seeking a hopeful future in a time of yearning”.
Action: Urge your MP to show compassion for Gaza! Ask him or her to:
- Call for an end to the use of violence by Israeli forces against the protesters;
- Insist on humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza and an end to the blockade;
- Support policies in keeping with Canada's official commitment to promote the human rights of all people including Palestinians and Israelis
Send a message to your MP.