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Ontario doctor shot while aiding Palestinians in Gaza

May 16, 2018 2:22 AM
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A paramedic friend, Musa Abuhassanin, came to Loubani’s aid in the minutes after he was shot.

An hour later, Abuhassanin was shot and killed while assisting another victim under fire.

“We are very concerned that Canadian doctor and humanitarian worker Tarek Loubani was shot yesterday in Gaza,” Adam Austen, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, wrote to the Star, adding that MP Omar Alghabra as well as consular officials had been in touch with Loubani’s family on Tuesday.

“Canada is very deeply saddened and deplores the violence that has occurred in the Gaza Strip,” Austen wrote. “It is appalling and inexcusable that civilians, members of the media, first responders and children have been among the victims.”

Amnesty International said the Israeli military appeared to be killing demonstrators who posed no threat.

“Loubani goes frequently to work in hospitals, so he’s seen terrible things,” said Dimitri Lascaris, a friend. “It’s abundantly clear from evidence, Israeli forces must have known they posed no threats. Israeli forces must have known who they were shooting.”

In a statement responding to news of Loubani’s injury, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East condemned the shooting.

“We demand that our government condemn the shooting of Loubani, if not the killing of the 55 other Palestinians,” said Thomas Woodley, the group’s president. “While the shooting of Palestinian civilians is unlawful, the shooting of medical personnel is even more egregious.”

In 2013, Loubani and Toronto filmmaker John Greyson spent 53 days in an Egyptian jail after being arrested and beaten during an anti-government protest. The two men were on their way to Gaza. Egyptian police detained them after Loubani treated a wounded protester.

Also read: Gaza officials say Israeli fire kills woman at protest


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