News & Politics

Doctors Without Borders Condemns the 'Bloodbath' in Gaza as a Result of Israel's 'Disproportionate Use of Violence'

"What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman. "

Photo Credit: PBS Newshour

Doctors Without Borders released a statement Monday condemning the brutal attacks on unarmed protesters in Gaza by the Israeli military as demonstrations broke out at the border. Protesters opposed the opening of a new U.S. embassy for Israel in the city of Jerusalem, a move ordered by President Donald Trump.

"What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman," said spokeswoman Marie-Elisabeth Ingres. "The death toll provided this evening by Gaza health authorities—55 dead and 2,271 wounded—including 1,359 wounded with live ammunition, is staggering. It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time."

The organization has been treating victims of the violence since the protests began last month, but Ingres said that the doctors have been overwhelmed by the number of people needing care: "Our teams carried out more than 30 surgical interventions today, sometimes on two or three patients in the same operating theater, and even in the corridors.

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Ingres also made it clear that, despite the White House's blaming of the killings on Hamas, Doctors Without Borders believes Israel's policies are the cause of the brutality.

"This bloodbath is the continuation of the Israeli army’s policy during the last seven weeks: shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators, on the assumption that anyone approaching the separation fence is a legitimate target," she said. "As new demonstrations are announced for tomorrow, the Israeli army must stop its disproportionate use of violence against Palestinian protesters."

Jane Ferguson, a reporter for PBS Newshour, reported that the protesters are largely unarmed: "[Hamas knows] that as long as these protests are unarmed, they'll be potent and all the more politically useful. But we have seen when we're out there, those rushing the fence are unarmed in the sense that they're not carrying guns and weapons as such. We've seen young people with stones in hand and homemade slingshots. They burn tires to create smoke to sort of give themselves cover."

She added: "They haven't really been able to get to the fence itself, or in any way threaten the Israeli soldiers there with being really able to come over it. But every time they approach the fence, they are fired upon."

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.