PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some health care workers stood with the Palestinian people on Wednesday night during a rally in Philadelphia’s University City section.
“We gather together tonight to mourn. We gather together tonight to cry. We gather together tonight to let ourselves feel,” Dr. Tamim Khaddash, a radiologist at Penn, said.
Doctors, nurses and medical students from the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia gathered to remember the more than 8,700 Palestinians who have been killed since the start of the war.
Each of their names were printed on the lists hanging along the perimeter of Edward Kane Park. Photos of some of the health care workers killed overseas were also on benches at the park.
“Hospitals are being attacked, churches, residential buildings are being attacked,” Dr. Khaddash said.
Dr. Khaddash was one of the organizers of the rally. He’s Palestinian and has family living in the West Bank.
“Palestinians have been facing violence on a daily basis for 75 years,” Dr. Khaddash said. “As people who care about the preservation of human life, I think we should be at the forefront of speaking out about this.”
The health care professionals, some Muslims, Christians, and Jews stood in solidarity with Palestinians to call for a ceasefire and immediate humanitarian aid for the people in Gaza.
“I am one of many mental health clinicians at Penn who are Jewish who do not support this,” Dr. Aimee Ando, a physician at Penn Medicine, said.
“May we unequivocally support and hold in our hearts, our fellow healers and health care workers on the ground in Gaza who are working tirelessly endless hours to care for the ill and injured without adequate supplies,” another health care worker said.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced Egypt’s Rafah Gate will be opened, only allowing foreign nationals and wounded Palestinians safe passage out of Gaza.
“Patients, health workers, and facilities must be protected at all times,” Dr. Ando said.