A Norwegian surgeon who worked in Gaza shares his experiences during the latest Israeli offensive on the besieged Strip.
During the latest Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, war planes dropped bombs on the enclave day and night. The people there, besieged on all sides, had no place to go.
As in previous wars, Israel says it was responding to attacks from Hamas. But the war in the summer of 2014 was different, according to Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon working in Gaza in the operating rooms of the Shifa hospital.
“This is a genocide. This is a massacre. And I hope that somebody is being held accountable for it,” Gilbert told the media from the site of one of the attacks this year.
“Israeli impunity has gone so far now that they think they can do whatever, with whoever, and they don’t consider Palestinians even human, according to how they treat them now.”
After voicing his indignation, the Israeli response against Gilbert was swift. When he returned to Gaza recently, the Israelis stopped him from entering the Palestinian enclave.
“I went back to Gaza after the last attack in July/August. I went back in October to follow-up on the medical work, research, teaching and patient care … And [the Israelis] stopped me at the gates to Gaza,” Gilbert tells Al Jazeera.
“I asked why, I have everything, I never did anything wrong. And they said it was ‘a security issue from the higher security authorities’ – and I was denied access.”
“I think the situation for the Israeli government, and the reputation of Israel on the international scene, is so damaged by these repetitious attacks – particularly the last one because it was extremely horrible – that they don’t want these tales to get out,” Gilbert says.
“I think the concern is public opinion … People are questioning this one-sided support for Israel through the years, and people are questioning the Israeli narrative about what is going on, [asking] ‘is it really Israel defending itself against the Palestinians, or is Israel attacking a besieged and occupied people?’”
This week on Talk to Al Jazeera, Dr Mads Gilbert sits down with Jane Dutton to discuss what he saw in Gaza’s Shifa hospital in the summer of 2014 that affected him more than it did in the past, and why he believes the Israelis are out to stop him.