GAZA CITY � When the phone rang
once again, it was Dr. Hassan Al-Attal's turn to go save the lives of
another Gazan family.
But in just minutes, it was Attal who
pleaded for help after being showered with Israeli bullets.
"We were heading to help three
bleeding children whose house was hit by an Israeli shell," Attal, an
emergency doctor in Gaza City, told IslamOnline.
"But once we arrived to the house, our
ambulance came under a hail of fire," he recalled.
"We fell to the ground bleeding, and
instead of helping the injured children we were crying for help ourselves,"
he said from a hospital bed.
The Israeli killing machine has not
spared doctors and medics who struggle to save the lives of helpless
More than 12 doctors and rescue workers
have been killed so far in the 19-day Israeli onslaught against the
densely-populated coastal enclave.
In addition, dozens of hospitals and
health clinics have been destroyed in Israeli air and artillery shelling.
Doctor Ahmed Al-Assafi recalls how his
colleague Ihab Al-Madhoon was killed by Israeli shells while trying to
rush a severely-injured child to the hospital.
"He breathed his last while he was
trying to carry the child to the ambulance when Israeli tanks hit the area
once again," he said with tears in his eyes.
A 28-year-old doctor in the refugee camp
of Jabalyia was killed by Israeli artillery on Tuesday, January 13, while on
his way to a building hit by Israeli missiles.
"Are those doctors posing a threat to
Israel's security?" fumed Dr. Muawiya Hasanien, the head of Gaza Emergence
and Ambulance Services.
"They want us to leave our people
bleeding to death."
Attal, the emergency doctor, says the
attack on his ambulance seemed deliberate.
"They don't want us to help our
wounded. They don't want any Gazan to survive."
Not only medics, but even reporters are
not safe from Israeli fire.
"They already massacred entire
families, ravaged hospitals, orphanages, hospitals and schools, and no one
has stopped them," Ayman Al-Dalloul, a local reporter, told IOL.
"What would stop them from targeting us."
So far several reporters have fallen
victim as Israel continues to target homes and workplaces of media people.
Al-Aqsa TV journalist Jalal Nashwan, 52,
was not carrying a gun or shooting at Israeli troops when they rained him
with bullets in Beit Hanun on Saturday, January 11.
Two days earlier, an Israeli missile
attack killed Palestinian photo-journalist Ihab Al-Wahidi, his wife and his
elderly mother inside their home.
Israeli tank fire has also destroyed the
home of Palestinian journalist Ala Mortijar, killing him and injuring
Israel, which killed nearly 1000
Palestinians in 19 days, also targeted a building complex in Gaza City that
houses media and production studios of 20 media organizations, including
several international news agencies.
Israel, usually described as the Middle
East's sole democracy, is denying international reporters access into Gaza
to cover its war.
Dozens of international news outlets
issued a joint call with global press watchdog Reporters Without Borders
last week for Israel to reverse that decision.
But Dalloul, the Palestinian journalist,
believes Israel would never do that.
"Israelis want neither a camera nor a
pen to expose the atrocities they are committing in Gaza."