The Dilemmas of Practicing Humanitarian Medicine in Gaza: a testimony

by Osama Tanous

As a Palestinian physician based in Haifa, I had been waiting enthusiastically for the opportunity to help the medical workforce in the Gaza Strip care for their fellow residents living in conditions of utter deprivation.[1] So, I was grateful to have the opportunity to join the delegation of Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) on two trips to Gaza, in December 2019 and January 2020. PHRI is an Israeli human rights organization founded in 1988 to promote the equal right to health for all people in Israel and for those who live under Israeli occupation. It provides humanitarian aid through free and mobile clinics, operates a legal department to help Gazan patients secure permits to exit Gaza for medical treatment and advocates for policy changes. It is one of the only Israeli organizations allowed to regularly enter Gaza, which they do with their mobile clinic, bringing in physicians and medical staff who are Palestinian citizens of Israel along with medicine and equipment.

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