Doctors, Back From Gaza Hospitals, Tell Washington of Horrors Amid Cease-Fire Push

The memories are unforgettable. A flood of screaming families carrying their bloodied loved ones through the doors of an already inundated hospital. A small boy trying to resuscitate a child who looked not much older than himself. A 12-year-old with shrapnel wounds to his head and abdomen being intubated on the ground.

That January day at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza — the aftermath of a missile strike on an aid distribution site — has haunted Dr. Zaher Sahloul, an American critical care specialist with years of experience treating patients in war zones, including in Syria and Ukraine.

He and other volunteer doctors who have returned from besieged hospitals in Gaza took their firsthand accounts of the carnage to Washington this week, hoping to convey to the Biden administration and senior government officials that an immediate cease-fire was needed to provide lifesaving medical care.

Among the evidence Dr. Sahloul took to show the American officials — including members of Congress and officials from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and the United States Agency for International Development — was a photo of the 12-year-old boy and his death certificate. The child never woke up from surgery after being intubated, the doctor said, and the hospital could not reach his family amid a near-total communications blackout.

In the aftermath of a missile strike in Khan Younis, Gaza, in January, a stream of victims was brought to the Nasser Hospital.CreditCredit…Courtesy of Zaher Sahloul

Two other doctors in the delegation — Amber Alayyan, a Paris-based deputy program manager for Doctors Without Borders, and Nick Maynard, a British surgeon — said that robust medical advancements achieved by local doctors in Gaza had been wiped out by Israel’s war against Hamas.

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