Gaza’s wounded find refuge in Iraq, recount Israeli war crimes

Asmahan described the suffering in Gaza: displacement, famine, and fear. [TNA]

Wounded Palestinians from Gaza, now receiving critical treatment in Iraq, recount harrowing experiences of what they described as “war crimes” committed by Israeli forces against civilians in the besieged coastal enclave.

In a display of solidarity, the Iraqi government transferred dozens of severely wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Iraq for emergency medical treatment. This move is part of the “Help Gaza” campaign and underscores Iraq’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause as Israel continues to massacre civilians in throughout the strip. 

Initially receiving treatment in Egypt, wounded Palestinians were relocated to Iraq due to overwhelmed medical facilities and limited resources. Last month, Baghdad welcomed the first group of Gaza’s wounded, with the Iraqi Ministry of Health initiating treatment for 27 injured Palestinians and 42 companions at the Dar Al-Tamriz Private Hospital in the Medical City.

“As per directives from Iraq’s Prime Minister and under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, we received many Palestinians who were wounded as a result of Israel’s terrorist aggressions on Gaza,” Dr Muhammed Kamil, head of physicians at the Dar Al-Tamriz Private Hospital, said to The New Arab.

“Some other Palestinians being treated here suffer from chronic illnesses or cancer; their treatments are disrupted in Gaza. If the Iraqi government decides to receive more wounded Palestinians, we are fully prepared to do so; this is a fraternal duty to our Palestinian brothers,” Dr Kamil added. 

TNA spoke with some of the wounded about their experiences and what they thought of the ongoing war on Gaza.

Reem Mohammed Abu Taha, a Palestinian child from Khan Younis, is currently receiving treatment for injuries on his legs due to an Israeli attack. [TNA]

Reem Mohammed Abu Taha, a Palestinian child from Khan Younis, is currently receiving treatment for injuries on his legs due to an Israeli attack. 

Reem’s mother, who is escorting him, recounted to TNA, “Our house in Khan Yunis was hit by Israeli fighter jets. Three of my children were wounded, and my older son was martyred; 24 members of our household were martyred in the same building. Thank God, we survived the massacre. We went to Egypt for treatment, and then we were airlifted to Iraq. I thank the Iraqis for treating us and taking care of us.”

The mother described the horrific brutality of the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, including soldiers slaughtering civilians, beating people and executing them in front of their families. She also witnessed the bombing of civilian residences filled with women and children without any prior warning. She emphasised the famine in Gaza and the insufficiency of international aid, leading to infants dying of starvation.

Likewise, she called on Arab countries and the international community to act to stop Israel’s genocide in Gaza. “Enough with killing innocent people; this is not a war; this is genocide of an entire nation,” she said. 

Asmahan Jumaa al-Misri, a mother of six and wife of a Palestinian man from Beit Hanoun, is now receiving treatment in Baghdad for burns and injuries.

Similar to Reem’s mother, Misri tearfully recounted, “I saw with my eyes how Israeli soldiers killed a little child and treated civilians very badly. I saw dogs and cats eating from the corpses of the martyrs on the streets. I saw a six-year-old girl holding her severed hand after being bombarded by Israeli tanks. A father found only one hand of his dead daughter and still praised God for that. I cannot forget those scenes.”

Misri described the suffering in Gaza: displacement, famine and fear. “I saw people dying from starvation. Although the occupation can destroy our homes and raze entire cities in Gaza to the ground, they can never take our land.”

An elderly Palestinian man receiving treatment at the hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, told TNA that Arab countries have done all they can but are constrained by pressure from the United States and European nations.

The transfer of wounded Palestinians to Iraq highlights the dire situation in Gaza, where healthcare infrastructure has been devastated by Israeli airstrikes. It also underscores the urgent need for international assistance and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Despite its healthcare system struggling from years of conflict, Iraq has extended a helping hand to those in dire need, demonstrating its commitment to supporting vulnerable populations. This initiative not only provides critical medical care but also sends a powerful message of unity among Arab nations against Israeli aggression. It is hoped that other countries will follow Iraq‘s example and contribute to alleviating the suffering of Palestinians affected by the ongoing genocide.

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