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"Detained, Abused, Tortured": Israel Targeting Gaza Health Workers, Doctors Tell Zeteo

Zeteo contributor Fatima Bhutto interviews Drs. Tanya Haj-Hassan and Rebecca Inglis about the catastrophic toll Israel's genocidal war has taken on Gaza's health system.

Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza has decimated the besieged enclave's healthcare system. Hospitals have been destroyed, raided, or forced to close due to supply shortages. The few hospitals that are still operating are at overcapacity, understaffed, and working without the needed supplies, medication, and equipment. 

"What I saw [in Gaza]... was utter and complete carnage," Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan tells author and Zeteo contributor Fatima Bhutto in the latest episode of 'The Exchange.' Haj-Hassan, a pediatric intensive care doctor, recently spent two weeks in Gaza working at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central part of the enclave. 

"You would smell the burning flesh of children sometimes when these mass casualties came in, and then you would hear the screaming," Haj-Hassan says. 

But it's not just these horrific scenes and the limited resources that health workers in Gaza are contending with; they're also being targeted, detained, and in some cases, abused or tortured, by Israeli forces, according to Haj-Hassan and Dr. Rebecca Inglis, a UK-based intensive care physician who also joins Zeteo on this episode of 'The Exchange.' 

The UN has documented more than 400 attacks on Gaza's healthcare since the war began. Hundreds of health workers have been reportedly killed, and more than 200 have been detained by Israel. Of those detained, at least two-thirds were taken from hospitals or ambulances – while "doing their lifesaving work," says Inglis. Haj-Hassan and Inglis have helped Palestinian health workers share their experiences through the @GazaMedicVoices Twitter account the two doctors started early in the war. 

Watch the above video for more from this powerful conversation, as Fatima interviews Haj-Hassan and Inglis about the underreported realities health workers in Gaza are facing after more than seven months of war. 

‘The Exchange’ is a series in which Zeteo contributors interview experts and newsmakers on the biggest stories of the week. Let us know in the comments who you’d like to see in ‘The Exchange’ next.

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