16th April 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Nabi Saleh , Occupied Palestine
M. and A. are two independent paramedics who regularly attend different protests against Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Israeli forces usually respond to Palestinian popular resistance with extreme violence, including the shooting of tear gas canisters, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Considering that injuries are very common and that the nearest hospital is usually far from the village where the protests are taking place, the presence of medical personnel in these demonstrations is essential and highly appreciated by protesters.
Last Friday, we had the opportunity to talk to M. and A. during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh, which they regularly attend.
International Solidarity Movement: How long have you been volunteering as paramedics? Why did you choose to volunteer?
M: Since 2009. In the beginning I was working in a project with the Danish Red Cross Youth and then I joined the Red Crescent.
A: I have been volunteering since 2004. I do it because I like to help people and this is the way I want to do that.
ISM: You go to a lot of demonstrations as paramedics – why do you think that these protests are important to the community and to Palestine?
Protesters marching at last Friday demonstration in Nabi Saleh (Photo by Tamimi Press)
M: Well it is better to do something than to do nothing. Also, when there are medics at demonstrations people have more courage to go to the front because they know that we are there to assist them in case something happens.
A: As you know, we live under occupation so people have to move and do something to end it. We have to protest and attend demonstrations anytime and anywhere…