A Palestinian doctor at Gaza’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, gave a heartbreaking interview on his decision to stay behind before he was killed by Israeli airstrikes.
Dr. Hammam Alloh, a 36-year-old kidney specialist, spoke to independent news program Democracy Now! on Oct. 31, sharing the dire situations in hospitals in Gaza, which has come under heavy bombardment by Israel since it declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7.
When asked why he didn’t heed Israel’s warning for civilians in Gaza to evacuate south, Alloh said, “And if I go, who treats my patients?”
“They are not animals. They have the right to receive proper healthcare. So we can’t just leave,” he said.
“You think I went to medical school and for my postgraduate degrees for a total of 14 years so I think only about my life and not my patients?,” he went on. “I’m asking you, Ma’am. Do you think this is the reason I went to med school, to think only about my life? This is not the reason why I became a doctor.”
Alloh was killed on Saturday Nov. 11 when Israeli airstrikes hit his wife’s home, killing him, his father, brother-in-law and father-in-law.
He leaves behind a wife and two children, aged four and five years old.
Following the news of his death, his final interview started going viral online.
During his interview, Alloh also responded to a question about Israel’s claims that Hamas was using Al-Shifa Hospital as a command center.
“I’ve been working this hospital for over two years, and I never saw this,” he said. “So, I’m no lawyer, I’m no attorney, but this is how I am simply replying. I never saw this for over two years. If this is true, I would see at least a clue.”
He concluded his interview by urging the international community to act to stop the war.
“We need this war to end, because we are real humans. We are no animals. We have the right to live freely,” he said.
“We are being exterminated. We are being massly eradicated. And you pretend to care for humanitarian and human rights, which is not what we are living now. To prove us wrong, please do something,” he said.
Nearly 200 medical workers have been reported killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Democracy Now!.