Hundreds of Palestinian doctors disappeared into Israeli detention

Hundreds of Palestinian doctors disappeared into Israeli detention

The Intercept reports:

It’s been two months since Osaid Alser has heard from his cousin, Khaled Al Serr, a surgeon at Nasser Hospital in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.

Before late March, they had been in regular contact — or as regular as the shredded communication infrastructure would allow. Al Serr had created a telemedicine WhatsApp group where he and Osaid, a surgical resident in the U.S., recruited doctors from stateside, the U.K., and Europe to give advice to their overstretched colleagues in Gaza.

“He reported on a gunshot injury in a 70-year old,” Osaid said, of Al Serr. “It was in her head. And really, there were no neurosurgeons at that time.”

“He was sharing those cases, and he was asking for help,” Osaid went on. “It was like, ‘Is there any neurosurgeon that can help me? How can I fix this?’”

Al Serr was a natural vessel for the collective medical knowledge of the group chat. “He always wanted to help out, always liked to use his hands, to kind of fix a problem and have an immediate impact,” according to Osaid.

In February, the Israeli military invaded Nasser Hospital. The attack left the hospital hollowed out, just one of the destroyed health care centers in a medical system savaged by an overwhelming caseload and a relentless military assault by Israel.

Still, Al Serr maintained some optimism. His last post on Instagram was uploaded in mid-March, a short video showing the exterior of the hospital from the day before, captioned with a triumphant message:

Finally!! After more than a month of cutting electricity in Naser hospital, our staff was able to fix the generator and get the electricity again to Nasser Hospital. For the last two weeks, we are trying to clean and prepare the hospital’s departments to reopen the hospital again.

Six days later, on March 24, Israeli forces stormed the hospital again. Osaid had asked a few days earlier if Al Serr was alright. No response ever came. It was their last exchange.

His relatives believe that Khaled Al Serr, along with what was left of the hospital’s dwindling staff, was taken prisoner by Israel. [Continue reading…]

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