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The doctor who saved Senator Tammy Duckworth in Iraq is stuck in Gaza. Now she’s trying to save him.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., says she owes her life to Dr. Adam Hamawy, an American surgeon who provided her with intensive care 20 years ago when she was injured in the Iraq War.

That’s why she’s working the phones trying to help Hamawy, who is stuck in Gaza with other aid workers, return home safely to the United States.

“We’re shaking every tree, calling everyone to make sure we’re doing everything we can to ensure the safe passage of these doctors to where we can get them,” Duckworth said in an interview Tuesday.

Hamawy is one of 10 American doctors in a team of 19 medical professionals from the Palestinian American Medical Association who traveled to Gaza this month to provide emergency medical assistance to the European Hospital in the Khan Younis region of Gaza.

The group was unable to leave Gaza on Monday due to the closure of the border at Rafah, the medical group said in a press release.

The Biden administration has warned Israel against a full-scale invasion of Rafah, a town in southern Gaza where more than a million people are sheltering, citing humanitarian concerns.

The State Department said it continues to work directly and actively with the governments of Israel and Egypt to advocate for the safe departure of the medical group from Gaza.

“We believe there is still much to be done here, and this is just another example of why it is so crucial and important that the Rafah border crossing be open,” the port said on Tuesday. -State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel to reporters. “Not only for the proper delivery of humanitarian aid, but also for the safe departure of foreign nationals. »

Duckworth, who said he had been in contact with Hamawy, said he and his fellow humanitarians were short of basic medical supplies and were treating people who were in a United Nations vehicle that was hit on Monday.

“They’re severely restricted, that’s what he texted me back,” Duckworth said.

“They lack medical supplies; they lack food and water. And, you know, it’s pretty dire out there right now,” she added.

The Palestinian American Medical Association did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

The Biden administration is closely monitoring the case and working to see if it can get the group out of Gaza. He had no further details to share, a U.S. official said.

“We’re continuing to work to see if we can get them out, but we won’t have more to share at this time, we’ll let you know if that changes,” the official told NBC News.

Duckworth said she had a “very productive conversation” with Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog, in addition to her contacts with the White House National Security Council and various groups with contacts in the region.

In a post onDuckworth called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ensure the protection of aid workers and civilians.

“The Netanyahu administration must work to open the Rafah crossing, support evacuations, and allow much more aid to arrive,” she wrote.

Like many of his Democratic colleagues, Duckworth, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, has expressed concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza since the war began last year. She also criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

Duckworth, a former member of the Army National Guard, lost both legs and partial use of his right arm during the Iraq War in 2004 after a rocket-propelled grenade struck his helicopter. She thanked Hamawy for providing life-saving care.

“I am alive thanks to Dr. Hamawy, the doctors and medical staff who saved me in Iraq. He was there. He took care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself,” Duckworth said in the interview. “He is certainly very close to my heart, because he saved my life 20 years ago.”

Hamawy, a native of Princeton, New Jersey, is the father of four children. He was deployed to Iraq from May 2004 to February 2005, according to an Army spokesperson, who said Hamawy also enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard and served in the Army as a plastic surgeon, general surgeon and flight surgeon in the army. Body.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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