Who and why?
The people who originally set up this website were a group of solidarity activists who have worked with Palestinian emergency and medical services in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon over the past 7 years. Some of us, volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement and the Free Gaza Movement, were ambulance volunteers during the attack on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. (See Emad’s film above). This website arose as a response to the requests for solidarity and justice by our colleagues and friends within the emergency services in Gaza who lost 16 of their co-workers in 22 days.
Defend the Rescuers is not an organisation or campaign, but a banner anyone can use, taking their lead from Palestinian emergency workers from all services in Gaza, who ask that we facilitate, advocate and support them in their work and the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, dignity and justice.
The image in the header of this blog is from a picture taken by an international volunteer on January 15, 2009, when Israel repeatedly shelled Gaza’s Al Quds hospital with missiles and lethal white phosphorous gas. Hundreds of patients and civilians taking shelter had to be evacuated into the street as the strikes continued, assisted by only two ambulances.