This film contains footage of Thursday’s demonstration at the Qalandia checkpoint, and later at Ramallah Hospital. Without proper protective wear, I avoided the frontlines of the demonstration.
The video depicts a frantic scene to carry wounded protesters to ambulances, and the controlled chaos of Ramallah Hospital that lasted almost until sunrise. The injured protesters in this footage are a tiny fraction of the approximately 200 shot with live ammunition by Israeli soldiers, resulting in 2 deaths.
Palestinian Authority (PA) police were instrumental in maintaining order at Ramallah Hospital. Visible in the video, police officers and bystanders held hands and linked arms to maintain a clear pathway outside and inside for injured protesters.
Rajai Abu Khalil, a surgical resident at Ramallah Hospital, worked overnight. He described his experience in an interview with Mondoweiss:
My job was to quickly asses the patients at the ER entrance and sometimes before the injured got out of the ambulance. We had a shortage in places, even though there were many doctors trying to do all that they could. We had ten operation rooms available and prepared, and
700 blood units. But with the intensity of the injuries, tens coming in minutes and all with live ammunition, many needed operations. We had to classify it by “most urgent,” “who will die if we don’t operate in minutes,” “who will [die] if it’s in hours,” “who can wait a day,” and “who can wait for a second day.” That was my job.
It was painful to see people in pain — many friends who took bullets and are bleeding. I had to tell them they have to wait. Although all of them were in pain, they all were deeply understanding of the situation.
From the ambulances at the entrance, I referred over 50 cases to other private hospitals. They were all with live ammunition to the extremities — mainly bullets that entered and exited the wound. Later on, we referred 60 cases from the ones we admitted to other hospitals.
As we are speaking now, surgeons are still operating on the injured patients. Operations are still going for the third day in a row — mainly orthopedic operations that have to do with bone injuries and bullets extractions. All of the vascular injuries, injuries to the chest, abdomen and brain were operated on immediately. The Surgical ICU is full of patients who underwent operations and need observation every second. As they’re stabilizing, they are still very serious and life threatening complications might happen.