MAP launches Gaza emergency response amid rapidly escalating violence

On Saturday 7 October, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, and militants crossed the perimeter fence to launch attacks in cities and towns surrounding Gaza. In response, Israel has launched an extensive aerial bombardment across all areas of Gaza. As of 8:13pm local time, 232 Palestinians have been killed and 1,697 injured, and at least 200 Israelis have been killed. Casualties are expected to rise steeply in the coming hours and days. 

Responding to this emergency situation, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)’s team on the ground in Gaza are releasing all of our pre-positioned stocks, worth $570,000 USD (approximately £465,000), to ensure hospitals and emergency responders have the supplies they need to cope with an unprecedented influx of casualties. 

The list of supplies provided by MAP includes essential drugs and disposables, lab reagents and support for Gaza’s blood bank services. Some of these supplies are already being delivered to Al Awda Hospital. 

Even before this escalation, Gaza’s beleaguered health system was struggling to cope, with 48% of essential medicines and 26% of medical disposables either completely unavailable or in critically short supply. Today, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has called for blood donations amid the influx of casualties to hospitals.

Melanie Ward, MAP’s CEO, said: “We are deeply concerned about the potential for substantial loss of civilian life in the coming days. Gaza’s healthcare services are woefully under-equipped to respond to this emergency, and MAP’s support is needed now more than ever.” 

“We call on the international community to take urgent steps to protect civilian life and infrastructure from attack, and to launch immediate humanitarian relief efforts to ensure that health services have the resources they need to save lives and respond to casualties.”

Mahmoud Shalabi, MAP’s Senior Programme Manager in Gaza, said: “Today’s escalation is one of the most violent that we have ever witnessed in Gaza, with hospitals overwhelmed by casualties within hours. This is why we are releasing everything in our pre-positioned stocks, and are working to ensure we can continue to provide the basics supplies medical teams need to save lives.”  

Please donate to MAP’s emergency response here 

Healthcare under attack 

Soon after its aerial bombardment of Gaza began, the Israeli military struck the Indonesian Hospital and an ambulance in front of Nasser Hospital. The strikes killed a nurse and an ambulance driver, and injured several other healthcare workers, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. An oxygen station was also damaged. 

“Today’s Escalation is one of the most violent that we have ever witnessed in Gaza, with hospitals overwhelmed by casualties within hours.”

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have declared a state of emergency and have also recorded violations against their emergency response teams. In Rafah, two PRCS healthcare workers were injured by an Israeli military airstrike on an ambulance. In Gaza City, an ambulance was damaged after being directly targeted with live ammunition by Israeli forces. In Jabalia, a PRCS emergency centre has also been damaged following an Israeli airstrike. 

The PRCS have also dealt with 80 Palestinians injured in the occupied West Bank, including 24 shot with live ammunition. Israeli forces attacked PRCS ambulance crews at the Huwara checkpoint, in the Nablus Governorate, while they were responding to injuries as a result of Israel settler attacks. 

MAP will continue to keep supporters updated about the situation on the ground, and our response, as the situation develops.  

Please consider donating to our emergency response today so we can respond rapidly to the growing health crisis.


Photo: Palestinians observe the remains of a five-storey house after it was bombed by the Israeli military on Al-Nasr Street near Al-Quds Open University, west of Gaza City. (Credit: Mohamed Zaanoun).

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