Arrigoni documented Israeli attacks on Palestinian ambulance workers, ‘the most heroic people I ever met’
by Philip Weiss
An amazing video of the late Vik Vittorio Arrigoni from May 2009. At minute 6 he documents the attacks on Palestinian ambulance drivers during Cast Lead; you see two stretcher-bearers being shot at in Gaza City. Remember, this is an essential point of the now-disputed al-Samouni case, in which ambulances were prevented from approaching the bombed family, and at least one person died who surely might have survived their injuries. Doesn’t that constitute a deliberate attack on civilians?
This is from the Goldstone Report on the al-Samouni family:
[A]t around 4 p.m. [January 4, 2009], PRCS ambulance managed to come in the vicinity of the house where Ahmad was lying wounded, but was prevented by the Israeli armed forces from rescuing him. Ahmad died at around 2 a.m. during the night… The ambulance had turned west off Salah ad-Din Street when, at one of the first houses in the area, Israeli soldiers on the ground and on the roof of one of the houses directed their guns at it and ordered it to stop. The driver and the nurse were ordered to get out of the vehicle, raise their hands, take off their clothes and lie on the ground. Israeli soldiers then searched them and the vehicle for 5 to 10 minutes. Having found nothing, the soldiers ordered the ambulance team to return to Gaza City, in spite of their pleas to be allowed to pick up some wounded. In his statement to the Mission, the ambulance driver recalled seeing women and children huddling under the staircase in a house, but not being allowed to take them with him.
Arrigoni speaks of 13 Palestinian paramedics who died. “I will remember those martyrs as the most heroic people I ever met.”
At the end of the video Arrigoni quotes the Italian poet Enzo Biagi. “Enzo Biagi said ‘Truth is like poetry, it doesn’t need any adjectives, it is freedom.’ We will keep making poetry of our lives until freedom will be declared over the broken chains of all oppressed peoples.”