Watch Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja read letter from doctor witnessing “catastrophe” for newborn babies in Rafah

Watch Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja read letter from doctor witnessing “catastrophe” for newborn babies in Rafah

Massive Attack‘s Robert Del Naja has posted a video reading a letter from a doctor describing a “catastrophe” for newborn babies in Rafah – watch it below.

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As part of the Voices for Gaza initiative, Dej Naja has joined Brian Eno, members of Fontaines D.C.R.E.MBastille and more in reading out letters from Palestinians in Gaza.

The letter is from a gynaecologist who worked in a hospital in Rafah, returning from Gaza on March 25. The city is currently sheltering nearly 1.4million displaced residents across the Gaza Strip, and was targeted in a series of Israeli airstrikes that has reportedly killed at least 45 people, spawning the popular hashtag #AllEyesOnRafah.

Del Naja reads: “I’ve been in humanitarian medicine for over 25 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen people bombed and unable to flee. It’s a catastrophe. People are sad; the only thing that makes them happy is a birth. But as soon as there’s a birth, there are two problems: milk and diapers

The letter describes the living conditions women have to endure, continuing: “There’s no room in the hospital, and women have to leave three to six hours after giving birth. All these women are tired – most eat too little and are anemic. They give birth without epidurals, and then have to leave with their babies to sleep in a tent. Some die, others are murdered.

“They lose everything in this war: their homes, their privacy, their clothes, their children, their husbands, their fathers. This war is designed to break women.”

Massive Attack have been vocal about their support for Palestine in the past, having boycotted performing in Israel since 1999: “Massive Attack have not performed (& will not perform) in Israel since the international request was made by Palestinian civic society & artistic institutions in 2002 (reiterated in 05 as BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel to end its brutal occupation of Palestine.

They continued: “The band took a decision not to perform in Israel in 1999 – some years before the Palestinian call for international boycott was made – based on our own observations of military oppression, occupation & apartheid.”

The band have also recently announced a Gaza benefit single in collaboration with Fontaines D.C. and Young Fathers, which will reportedly release on July 1 – pre-order yours here.

They also supported the wave of bands that dropped out of The Great Escape festival, which totalled over 100 acts. Massive Attack said of the walkout: “We’ve endless, special respect for younger artists or artists at earlier stages of their careers who choose to take a stand against corporate support for apartheid and now genocide in Palestine.”

“It’s extraordinary to think that in 2024, promoters and festivals still don’t understand that as artists, our music is for sale but our humanity and morality is not,” they continued. “The truth is, while the boycott of events sponsored by toxic corporations like Barclays is courageous, the motives behind it are totally uncontroversial: everyone can see what’s happening in Gaza and no one should accept it.”

Massive Attack added: “Whether it’s apartheid and genocide in Gaza, or the funding of new fossil fuel extraction worldwide, Barclays has repeatedly proven it is without conscience. Barclays therefore has no place in any music festival or any cultural event. Solidarity with and total respect to all musicians who’ve taken this stand.”

Other acts to have spoken out against the current strikes against Rafah include Dua Lipa, who said “burning children alive can never be justified”, and Paramore, who said that they “stand in solidarity with those calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire”.

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