Washington: Children with massive burns down their faces, down their necks, all over their limbs and desperate parents crying for help is what Gaza is today as described to CNN by Emily Callahan, an American Nurse who has just returned from the besieged Palestinian territory.
"One of the places we wound up was at the Communist Training Centre. There were 35,000 internally displaced people. There were children with massive burns down their faces, down their necks, all over their limbs," Emily Callahan, Activity Manager with Doctors Without Borders, told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview.
Emily said the wounded children were discharged immediately because the hospitals were overwhelmed and sent to “camps with no access to running water” even though their parents and family members pleaded for help.
Giving the horrifying condition of the relief camps to shelter those displaced by Israel's airstrikes, Emily Callahan said a camp with over 50,000 people has just 4 toilets that get water supply for 2 hours in a day.
"And they have these fresh open burns and wounds and partial amputations walking around in these conditions. Parents are bringing their children to us, saying, 'Please, can you help? Please, can you help?' And we have no supplies," she said.
Callahan worked with Doctors Without Borders and stayed in Gaza for 26 days after the conflict with Israel and Palestine resistance group, Hamas, erupted in early October. She was evacuated last week.
When asked if she was happy to be at home, she replied: "In a heartbeat. My heart is in Gaza, it will stay in Gaza. The Palestinian people I worked with were some of the most incredible people I've met in my life."
Emily Callahan recounted reaching out to her colleagues to ask if anyone was moving south. The response was one of steadfast determination: “This is our community. This is our family. These are our friends. If they're going to kill us, we're going to die saving as many people as we can.”
Emphasizing their dedication, Callahan said, “The doctors and nurses didn’t leave, out of loyalty to their community. I want to remind people that those who stayed behind are heroes. Absolute heroes", she said.
“If I could have a small amount of the courage they have I would die a happy person. They know they're gonna die, and they're choosing to stay behind anyway", she added.
Praising the Palestinian Medical Staff, the American nurse said they would have died within a week if the local staff did not protect them.
"There's bombs going off all around us because there's no safe place in Gaza. They didn't leave our side for a second," she said.
Incredible testimony on CNN Monday from Emily Callahan, an American nurse who was in Gaza w/ Doctors Without Borders but evacuated.She reports almost starving to death, 4 toilets shared by 50,000 & the extraordinary bravery of her local colleagues there.pic.twitter.com/XHluOVTBue— Monica Marks (@MonicaLMarks) November 8, 2023
Incredible testimony on CNN Monday from Emily Callahan, an American nurse who was in Gaza w/ Doctors Without Borders but evacuated.She reports almost starving to death, 4 toilets shared by 50,000 & the extraordinary bravery of her local colleagues there.pic.twitter.com/XHluOVTBue
At the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, she said, it was the national staff who spoke to officials, got them onto buses.
"We're watching these incredible men who have sacrificed everything for us. Who have sacrificed time with their families, their own physical safety, their own water supply. And we're watching them fight to get us across the border, knowing that we were not bringing them with us," she said.
Israel launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials.
At least 10,328 Palestinians, including 4,237 children and 2,719 women, have been killed in Gaza. Israeli forces have also killed as many as 152 people in the Occupied West Bank since Oct 7 where Hamas has no presence.
Amid the soaring death toll, basic necessities are increasingly running out in Gaza after Israel imposed a "full siege" on the enclave that has ground humanitarian aid deliveries to a near halt.
Meanwhile, Palestinian children in Gaza Wednesday November 08, 2023 addressed a press conference to describe their situation and call upon the world to come forward for their protection.
Addressing the media, the Palestinian kids accused Israel of lying to the world and said “the Israeli forces are killing and starving children and civilians, not terrorists.”
Also today, Rashida Tlaib while participating in a debate initiated in the U.S. House of Representative by Republican lawmakers, who censured her for exposing the Israeli barbarism and war crimes committed against the Palestinians, questioned the U.S. government’s silence on the plight of the children in Gaza.
“The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don't understand is why the cries of Palestinian children sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity," the only Palestinian-American in the House of Representatives said.
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