DENVER (CBS4) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have traveled to Egypt trying to put an end to the crisis in the Middle East. As the fighting intensifies, there are plenty of people caught in the middle working for humanitarian efforts, including one woman from Colorado.
About 600 people are dead after two weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. Tens of thousands have fled their homes. Sarah Woznick, a nurse who left University of Colorado Hospital to work with Doctors Without Borders, talked with CBS4 from Jerusalem.
Woznick was living and working in Gaza when this violence erupted.
“It was a pretty unbelievable experience to be that close to air strikes and shelling and to witness all of your colleagues — all of our Palestinian colleagues — just so afraid for their families, afraid for their children, just really traumatized by this conflict,” Woznick said.
Woznick said at times the violence has been so intense her and her colleagues had to abandon their work and go downstairs into a safe room of their office.
“We would get reports from our coworkers, who were in their homes, of their children who would be hiding under desks, holding onto their parents … parents felt like they couldn’t even protect their children from this. It was pretty intense,” she said.
Although Woznick has personally not felt like her life has been in danger — so far — she said many people she works with are in harm’s way.
“As a humanitarian worker we’re supposed to have basically protection under international humanitarian law from coming under fire. Actually, in the last two days there have been some paramedics that … were trying to get wounded out in Gaza from one of the areas that was coming under a ground invasion, and a couple of the paramedics were killed.
“Unfortunately, that is changing in the last couple of days. I didn’t feel like I was personally in danger, but I knew that a lot of the people I worked with were.”