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We are both doctors: a Palestinian doctor writes to an Israeli colleague

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 13 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5106
  1. Izzeldin Abuelaish, associate professor of global health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 3M7
  1. izzeldin.abuelaish{at}

Izzeldin Abuelaish reflects on life in Gaza and says that doctors should speak up against the violence, replying to an Israeli colleague’s letter (BMJ 2014;349:g5023, doi:10.1136/bmj.g5023)

Dear colleague

We are both doctors. As a father, I understand how much you must love your sons and fear for them. My late wife and I had eight children. Five live with me in Toronto. They study and dream of a future denied to my other three daughters, who lie in a stone grave in Gaza, killed as teenagers by shellfire in the Israeli incursion of early 2009.

I was the first Palestinian doctor to be hired at Soroka University Medical Center in Israel. I helped couples experience the joy of parenthood. There is no happier moment than hearing a baby’s first cry: it is a cry of hope, irrespective of the child’s nationality or creed.

How many children must die or be maimed before a resolution can be found? While Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory, depriving 1.8 million people the right to water, travel, education, …

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