“The lack of fuel is life threatening for patients in hospitals”

Fikr Shalltoot, Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (MAP) Director of Programmes in Gaza, provides an update on the latest violence and emergency medical response in Gaza.

Last night was no different from the nights before. Israeli airstrikes continued to hit main roads, houses, some security buildings, factories and agricultural places. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 198 people have now been killed, including 58 children and 35 women, while 1,300 people have been injured. 

The sustained damage to the roads, factories and civilian buildings may take years to be repaired.

Gaza’s Electricity Distribution Company has reported that they have received 14,000 phone calls from people asking for them to repair their electricity networks. They indicated that the damage and destruction of the roads is hindering their repair work and preventing them from reaching many areas that need assistance.

In addition, the capacity of the only power plant in Gaza was significantly reduced due to the lack of fuel. There were some promises to allow fuel and medical supplies into Gaza yesterday, but the Israelis continued to close the Karem Shalom crossing and block the entry of this critical support.

The Head of Shifa hospital, Dr. Abu Selmeyah, expressed his deep concerns about the lack of electricity and fuel. He said that the hospitals are relying heavily on electricity generators and they are using their fuel reserves to run these generators. He indicated that at Shifa Hospital alone there are 16 people wounded in the intensive care unit (ICU); in addition to COVID and non-COVID patients in other ICU departments. The lack of fuel is life threatening for all patients in the hospitals and for those who need urgent surgical interventions.

According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, approximately 38,000 people have been internally displaced and are staying in 37-40 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools. They are living in cramped conditions and are threatened by further health concerns due to the renewed surge in COVID-19 cases across Gaza.

This morning, a mattress factory and one of the main suppliers of water, sanitation and hygiene assistance was targeted, and so far the civil defence have been unable to control the fire.

Our team in Gaza are continuing to deliver emergency medical aid to Palestinians. Please make a donation today and support our response.

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Photo: A Palestinian woman inspects her destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahia northern Gaza Strip, May 13 2021. (Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News).

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