Mads Fredrick Gilbert stuns Sabeel Conference
with Stories, Pictures from Gaza Under Siege
Jerusalem — Participants were “stunned” by Dr. Mads Fredrik Gilbert’s presentation to the Ninth International Sabeel Conference here. Gilbert talked about his experiences working at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the 2008-2009 and 2013 bombardments. He is a specialist in anesthesiology and emergency medicine.
Gilbert’s slides and descriptions of the effects of attacks on Gaza’s population were “devastating” one participant said. “Everyone was stunned,” said another.
Gilbert spoke of Israel’s siege and bombing of the over 1.7 million people, who are trapped within Gaza. The bombardments included the 22-day “Operation Cast Lead” during which 13 Israelis and more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed. Gilbert stressed, “No Israeli should be killed, and no Palestinian should be killed.”
Israel targets Gaza in a regular three-year cycle, Gilbert said, with impunity. This “impunity is our primary obstacle to Peace,” he said.
Gilbert described crises he has encountered during and following each attack, his struggles to treat hideously injured patients in buildings without electrical power, flooded with sewage. In “Cast Lead” alone, more than 5,000 Gazans were injured, 400,000 left without running water, and 4,000 homes were destroyed, rendering tens of thousands homeless. According to the UN Human Rights Council report, Israel targeted schools, hospitals, streets, water wells, sewage system, farms, police stations and UN buildings.
“The main factor for Palestinian ill health is not food, not water (…) it is the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” Gilbert said. He criticized both Israel and the United States: “If Israeli treatment of Gaza is not state terrorism, I do not know what terrorism is. The key sponsor is the United States.”
Gilbert asked, “Why is President Obama allowing this to happen, ongoing?” He said “This [the condition of Gaza] is a 100-percent man-made disaster, supported by the government of the United States.”
“The Nakba, (the catastrophic displacement of the Palestinian people that began in 1948 ) continues in Gaza,” Gilbert said.