A Biritsh-Palestinian surgeon who has a practice in West London and spent 10 years as director of the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at the American University of Beirut has accused the Met Police of harassing his family in London.
Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, who travelled to Gaza to help innocent Palestinian children and adults who have been caught up in the conflict has claimed that the police showed up at his London home.
He told Newsnight that the Met Police questioned his wife as to why the British-Palestinian surgeon would travel Gaza, asking who paid for his ticket and which charity does he work for.
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Live from Gaza, the surgeon told Newsnight, “I think it’s a brutal attempt at harassment and silencing us.
“I remain committed to speaking out on behalf of my patients and on behalf of the wounded here, on behalf of these families that are being destroyed.
“There are 50 families that are wiped out of the civil register, that means the grandparents, the parents and the grandchildren are all killed.”
Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, "Targeting hospitals is against international humanitarian law. So the idea that Israel warning hospitals prehand that they're going to target them gets you off the hook in committing a war crime, is ludicrous" @GhassanAbuSitt1 pic.twitter.com/86BTSdZ8U0
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) October 15, 2023
He said that he believes it is his “duty to bear witness to the carnage being committed against them so it would stop.”
He added, “These police tactics, as if my wife didn’t have enough to worry about that she had to endure this today. It’s now been taken up by [my] lawyers.
“I need to find out why someone thought it would be a good idea for them to show up at my house and ask my wife which part of the hospital I’m in, and why did I go, and who paid for my ticket and which charity do I work for.
“At these times, these difficult times, my family is seeing this bombing unfold knowing I’m in the midst of it to have them harassed in this way has been just bizarre.”
Dr Abu-Sittah has vowed to stay at the hospital treating innocent victims caught up in the conflict until there is a ceasefire.
He told BBC Radia 4’s Today programme, “I can’t now turn my back on my patients. I can’t turn my back on my colleagues. I came here knowing that this is a war zone, and you have a moral duty as a doctor towards your patients, and caring for your patients who can’t evacuate and can’t get away.”
Dr Abu-Sittah trained at Glasgow and has worked in many war zones, including Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
He treats facial deformities and trauma injuries including facelifts, lip, chin augmentations and “gummy smile” corrections.