Medics on hunger strike – they need your support
For a week, medics unable to get into Gaza, went on hunger strike – caught in a catch 22 situation, between the Egyptian authorities and the FCO/British Embassy in Egypt, where the Rafah Crossing is an impasse – neither open nor closed. This is while Israel is tightening the siege.
After a week on hunger strike the medics ended it, following concerns for their health and to give a chance to further diplomacy.
Cardiac surgeon Omar Mangoush, and a theatre sister Kirsty Wong are back saving lives at the cardiac surgical unit at Hammersmith Hospital. So far, their mission to save lives in Gaza has been hindered by the Egyptian authorities and the FCO/British Embassy in Egypt. In the absence of a cardiac unit in Gaza cardiac patients, including babies, continue to die there.
Consultant reconstructive surgeon Sonia Robbins has now been prevented for 60 days from entering Gaza, denying her patients medical treatment. Dr Robbins is in Sinai continuing with her efforts to get into Gaza.
Dr Omar Mangoush, who was a member of the Palestine International Medical Aid [PIMA] mission to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, told Hammersmith and Kensington Times (‘Medics go on hunger strike‘ ) :
“This is the last resort for us. We are desperate. We will continue this until we are let through because there is no cardiosurgical unit in the whole of Gaza.
“Palestinians cannot get through to Egypt and we cannot get through to them. The situation is miserable here. The best word to describe it is a prison.
“I am not an activist or a politician. I am a humanitarian worker.”
In support of the medics efforts to carry out their humanitarian work please send your letters to:
Email & phone details for your protest re medics
i) Egyptian Ambassador
His Excellency Ambassador Hatem Seif El Nasr
Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt Embassy
26 South Street
London W1K 1DW
020 7424 3265 or 020 7499 3304/2401
Fax: 020 7491 1542
Press Officer info@egPressOffice.com
ii) British Ambassador & FCO
You may wish to refer to the interview with Dr David Shove, who was a participant of the PIMA team: Gaza protester backs hunger strike by barred medics team Retired consultant accuses embassy of failing to put pressure on Cairo at:
as well as Dr Shove’s letter, Questions the Foreign Office must answer over barring of doctors from Gaza at: http://www.thecnj.co.uk/islington/2009/052209/iletters052209_04.html
Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO]:
Rammell, Minister -FCO:<email@example.com>
David Miliband-Secretary of State- FCO: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Call 020 7008 1500: ask for the office of Rammell or out of hours ask for Duty Officer
Vice Consul at British Embassy, Jim Warren 00 202 27916000
iii) Israeli Ambassador
IFY received confirmation from UNRWA that Israel is preventing food and medical supply. The lives of 1.5 million Palestinians are left for arbitrary decisions, in the absence of an official list of permitted food and medical supplies. “It pretty much changes from day to day what is allowed/denied entry into Gaza. Certain items which were supposedly banned have come in, while other goods that were initially not barred have not been permitted entry when they reached to Kerem Shalom Crossing. The fact that there is no official comprehensive list is the main frustration”.
Ms Ma’ayan Israeli
Public Affairs Department
Embassy of Israel
2 Palace Green
London W8 4QB
Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to Britain, Embassy of Israel, 2 Palace Green, London, W8 4QB
At the tp of this post is a photo of the protest outside Miliband’s Primrose Hill home on Sunday 24 May. The protestors outside the home of the Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged him to positively intervene on behalf of UK medics, who entered their 6th day of hunger strike on 24 at the Gaza border. The FCO was criticised for failing Gaza, which had been devastated by the Israeli bombardment earlier this year and is under the Israeli imposed continuing siege preventing people from receiving essential medical care.