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From the field

Testimony: Ambulance and medical staff fired at while evacuating wounded people

Khaled Abu Sa'ada, ambulance driver

I have worked as an ambulance driver at the Al-Awda hospital since 1977.

Today, 4.1.09, at 10:47 A.M., we were notified about wounded people near the Beit Lahiya square. I quickly drove there with ‘Arafa Hani ‘Abd a-Daim and ‘Alaa Osama Sirhan. We got there in two minutes.

There were four wounded people lying on the ground. ‘Alaa and ‘Arafa brought one of them to the ambulance and then went back to get another one. As they were approaching the ambulance with the second one, we were fired at. I think it was a tank shell, because I didn't see any planes in the sky. ‘Alaa, ‘Arafa and the man they were carrying were hit. I received a small piece of shrapnel to the head. The wounded man died on the spot. A help team arrived on the scene and took all the wounded people to hospital.

‘Arafa went through surgery at the al-Awda hospital and died of his injuries. ‘Alaa was taken to a-Shifa'a hospital and I was told that his leg might be amputated. I don't know what happened to the others who were injured.

The ambulance was hit too and can't be used . Now we have only one ambulance at al-Awda hospital.

Khaled Yusef Ahmad Abu Sa'ada, 43, is an ambulance driver at the Al-Awda hospital, Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. His testimony was given by phone to ‘Atef Abu-Rub on 4 January 2009.