Samer Badawi writes: From the rehabilitation hospital he heads, Dr. Basman Alashi can see where Gaza ends and Israel begins. If he needed a reminder of just how close the border is, it came early Friday morning, when Israel fired two “warning” rockets at the El Wafa Hospital, stoking fears that its 14 remaining patients – all elderly and all dependent on round-the-clock professional care to survive – would become the next victims of a bombing campaign that has so-far killed more than 120 people.
I spoke with Dr. Alashi moments ago, and he told me about one patient whose situation sums up the sense of dread – and determination – at the hospital.
“Her name is Hiba Kalli, and she is 85 years old. Every time a bomb explodes, she’s transported back to memories of the many wars she’s survived. You can see the panic in her face. When I hold her hand, she won’t let go, murmuring ‘please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.’ I am not going to leave my patients. We either stay together, or we leave this world together.”
Hoping to dissuade Israel from attacking the facility, international solidarity activists “have planned a shift system to maintain a presence at the hospital,” according to one of the activists, American Joe Catron. [Continue reading…]