A SURGEON who worked in a Palestinian hospital has urged National readers to get behind our campaign to raise funds for vital aid in the region.

Dr Philippa Whitford, the SNP MP for Central Ayrshire, worked in Al Ahli hospital in Gaza during the first intifada – and has urged people to back the “lifesaving work” for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

She said the organisation is “working every single day to support medical teams and civilians in Gaza” which remains under intense bombardment from Israel.

You can donate to our fundraiser by clicking on the banner below. 

More than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the current conflict which broke out on October 7 with Hamas’s attack on Israel.

Dr Whitford said: “I have known MAP for over 30 years, having worked with them as a surgical volunteer in Al Ahli hospital in Gaza in 1991-92.

“At that time Gaza had Israeli settlements and IDF soldiers, but we mostly dealt with gunshot wounds not appalling blast injuries from the indiscriminate bombing which has already killed over 30,000 Palestinians – two-thirds of them women and children.

READ MORE: Palestinian death toll reaches more than 31,000, health ministry says

“With well over 70,000 injured, few hospitals functioning and almost no medical supplies, I can barely imagine trying to function in the terrible conditions faced by medical colleagues in Gaza.

“Particularly inflicting pain while changing wound dressings without painkillers, carrying out amputations or C-sections without anaesthetic, or having to turn away from those who can’t be saved because of the overwhelming number of casualties.

“Having again worked with MAP since 2016, to set up a Scottish-Palestinian breast cancer project, I know how committed the MAP staff in Gaza are.

“Despite being displaced many times and facing personal injury and bereavement, they are still working every single day to support medical teams and civilians in Gaza.”

The National: Jeremy Corbyn

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (above) said MAP’s “resilience, compassion and humanity” was an “inspiration to us all” and urged readers to get behind the fundraiser – which has so far smashed its first funding target and has so far raised more than £40,000. 

The MP said: “The images from Gaza are simply unbearable. Hundreds of thousands of us are desperate to do anything we can to try and alleviate the appalling levels of human suffering. The National has my full support in launching this vital fundraiser.

READ MORE: How to donate to The National supports Medical Aid for Palestinians fundraiser

“Please, give what you can to Medical Aid for Palestinians, whose resilience, compassion and humanity is an inspiration to us all.”

Progressive International, an umbrella organisation of left wing political parties and groups, said: “The only sustainable way to save lives in Gaza is for Israel to cease its incessant and indiscriminate bombardment and for the siege and occupation to end. But while every sinew is strained to force Israel to stop, life saving aid is desperately needed now.

“Children in Gaza are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen. This starvation brings with it stress, sorrow and now death. The past week has seen credible reports from the battered and bombed health system that children are now dying of starvation.

“Medical Aid for Palestinians is one of the few organisations able to get some help to some of those who need it. They must be supported.”

You can find out more and donate here with all money going directly to the charity.