Ramallah Hospital Director Sets Record Straight

The following is an exclusive interview held by debkafile‘s special correspondent Monday morning, April 2, with Wail Hammoudeh, director of the Ramallah hospital, Mustashfa al Ri’aya al Arabiyya, in person. The interview is presented here verbatim.
Q. What is the situation in the hospital?
A. On Saturday they [editor: Israeli soldiers] came for a few minutes, looked around and went. But yesterday they came for five hours, from 5 in the evening to 10 at night. They were very tough, especially in the first half hour. They said they came to arrest someone. They ordered all the staff to sit outside the rooms. They told the visitors to wait at the entrance. They checked IDs of people. To seven of the people they tied their hands behind their backs but later released them. They found one person who was military and arrested him.
Q. Was he a patient?
A. No, he was a visitor.
Q. What else did they do? Did they look for people or for equipment?
A. They searched everywhere; they say they are looking for a specific person.
Later after pause: You know I had a 67-year old patient in the ICU, he was left alone so I was worried about him. I asked and they let me go and see him.
Q. What was the worst thing they did?
A. They entered a room that must be sterilized, you know there is a red line no can cross, we had to re-sterilize the room after they left.
Q. Was there any operation going on in the room when they entered?
A. No. Not when they entered. There was an urgent procedure the surgeon had to do, so after 2 hours they let him do it.
Q. Did they break anything?
A. The man with the master keys, we could not find him so on the third floor there were two locked doors they had to break in. They also took a hard drive from a computer, they searched for the patient list. This was really five hours of terror.
Q. Did anyone get hurt?
A. You known when they wanted to enter the sterile room the surgeon tried to stop them so they pushed him.
Q. Was he hurt?
A. No he is fine.
Q. How many soldiers were there?
A. 30 or 40, you know it is terrible.
Of course it is an unpleasant experience lasting five hours when Army is looking for a suspect. I wish the occupation would end.
Later : Q. What is the situation now?
A. We have running water, electricity from generators, but we cut heat to conserve Diesel. In Ramallah it is quiet, but heavy fighting is going on in Bitunya.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email