Canadian physician Tarek Loubani shot in Gaza Strip while providing medical care
A Canadian doctor says he was shot and wounded while providing medical treatment to Palestinians protesting along the Gaza border.
In a blog post published on Monday, Dr. Tarek Loubani described how he was shot in the leg while he was attending wounded Palestinians in Gaza. The London, Ont.-based physician said he was shot towards the end of the morning on Monday while he was standing with a group of other medical professionals away from the main protest area, but in view of three Israeli sniper outposts.
Dr. Loubani said that he was wearing “full hospital greens” as he stood talking with a colleague.
“There was no fire or smoke near us,” he wrote. “There was no active shooting from the Israelis immediately before or after. There were no protesters in our immediate vicinity. I heard a loud bang and found myself on the ground.”
The physician said the bullet entered and exited his left calf before it “pierced” his right knee.
“The wound had about 100cc of blood lost on the scene, but didn’t look to be bleeding dangerously,” he wrote. “I believe that I was shot with a regular bullet and not the exploding bullets that are causing severe injuries reported today and on other days.”
Paramedics treated Dr. Loubani at the scene before he was transported to hospital, according to the blog post. He said he was stabilized and discharged after X-rays showed he had no bone injury.
Dr. Loubani said one of the paramedics who treated his gunshot wound, Musa Abuhassanin, was later killed while rescuing another victim under fire.
During the time of writing, Dr. Loubani said that 17 paramedics had been wounded and one killed during Monday’s protests.
London, Ont.’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, where Dr. Loubani is an associate professor, confirmed in a statement that he’s been in contact with them today and is “safe and doing well.”
In response to the news of Dr. Loubani’s injury, the Montreal-based non-profit group Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) released a statement calling on the Canadian government to condemn the violence in Gaza.
“We demand that our government condemn the shooting of Loubani, if not the killing of the 55 other Palestinians,” Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME, said in the release. “While the shooting of Palestinians civilians is unlawful, the shooting of medical personnel is even more egregious.”
The CJPME said that Dr. Loubani makes regular medical missions to Gaza. On his blog, the Canadian physician has been writing about testing open-source 3D-printed tourniquets in the field there.
Dr. Loubani made headlines in 2013 when he and another Canadian were arrested and held for several months in Egypt during the violent uprising against former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. At the time, Dr. Loubani said they were only passing through Egypt on their way to Gaza, where he has embarked on numerous humanitarian missions.
More than 50 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,200 wounded by Israeli troops on the Gaza strip on Monday on the deadliest day there since the 2014 Gaza war. Palestinians have been demonstrating at the border for weeks, but the violence reached a peak on Monday just as the United States officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem after moving it from Tel Aviv.