Fifth Palestinian child dies as a result of Fatah doctors’ strike in Gaza
|Tuesday, September 9,2008 10:39|
A fifth Palestinian child has died in Khan Younis city on Sunday as a result of the politically-motivated doctors" strike in Gaza Strip which was called for by Fatah unions and the Muqata"a authority in Ramallah city, medical sources in the city confirmed.
The sources identified the latest Fatah doctors" victim as Soha Musammah, adding that number of newly born Palestinian children dying due to the unsanctioned strike increased since the start of this month.
Four Palestinian children in the premature-baby unit of the Gaza European hospital in the city had, so far, died ahead of Musammah for the same reason.
The victims were identified as Nadia Abu Saleh, died on the first day of the month, Hadeel Abu Odeh, died on the following day, Afaf Al-Khaldy, died on the third of this month, and Batool Abed, who died on Friday.
The hospital sources also disclosed that number of the Palestinian infants who died in the premature-baby unit over the past week was almost equal to the monthly figure under the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.
The same hospital sources called on the concerned Palestinian authorities to question the striking doctors and paramedics over the deaths of those babies..
Furthermore, the sources blamed the deliberate absence of nine nurses (out of 12 nurses working at the hospital) for the death of the five children, adding that the nine nurses heeded Fatah"s call for strike lest their salaries be cut by the Ramallah authority.
The sources identified the delinquent nurses as Nesreen Ahmad Abu Redwan, Rowaydah Rabba Al-Hamaydeh, Warda Abu Hasheesh, Heyam Abu Seyam, all residents of Rafah city, Faten Mohammed Sheneen, Ola Zaki Abu Odeh, both of Khan Younis city, Reda Mahmoud Darweesh of Al-Maghazi, and Maryam Alloh, of Deir Al-Balah district.
Families of the dead infants held the absent nurses and the Muqata"a authority in Ramallah city directly responsible for the death of their children, urging the Palestinian interior ministry and the Palestinian Judiciary to prosecute them for "deliberate murder".
"What is this strike, for? And why should we pay the price for it; they have murdered my baby, and I want them be punished for that… I will not forgive any doctor or nurse who abandoned his or her duty and caused the death of my child… I won"t forgive them till the Day of Judgment ", said mother of one of the dead children.
Palestinians human rights activists, including Basem Bushnaq, the head of the Palestinian bureau for citizen"s rights, urged the Palestinian general-prosecutor to take all the legal procedures against the striking doctors and paramedics for violating the Palestinian law.
In an interview with the PIC, Bushnaq explained that the Palestinian basic law was clear in stressing the prosecution of anyone proved exposing the citizens" life to risk.
He added, "Although the law sanctions the right to call for strike; yet, all workers in the health department should take all the necessary steps and precautions to ensure that the safety of Palestinian citizens is not put at risk".
He also agreed with the Palestinian center for human rights in describing the strike as politically-motivated and unprofessional, calling on PA health minister Dr. Basim Na"im to seek the help of the Palestinian Judiciary to compel the striking doctors to return to work.