Ministry of Health Gaza
The Ministry of Health in Gaza is disappointed that US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to give a paltry USD $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza, while at the same time providing over 3 billion a year to Israel for the very weapons being used to create the crisis.
The brutal Israeli military assaults of the past two weeks, largely funded or equipped by the United States, have now killed 605 Palestinians and injured 3,805, over 76 percent of them in their homes.
Six hospitals and seven health clinics have been attacked, some multiple times, completely destroying one clinic and forcing the complete evacuation of two hospitals. The Blood Bank, ambulance stations and ambulance services have also been targeted, and 12 ambulances have been destroyed since July 6. (more…)
As the situation in Gaza deteriorates due to snow and freezing temperatures on top of electricity cuts, the Minister of Health Dr Mufiz al-Makhalalati has declared a state of emergency, and called on all his personnel to assist the Civil Defence crews and municipalities in alleviating the distress.
Already 146 households accounting for 734 people have been forced to take emergency shelter in nearby schools and police stations, while 500 families, or more than 3200 people, have received assistance such as food, clothing and blankets.
The situation is dire and will get worse, with the current temperature at 3 degrees Celsius, and more bad weather predicted. The young and the old are particularly vulnerable, and desperately need electricity for warmth, and medications.
International governments and all people of good conscience must act quickly to ensure that Gaza’s suffering ends now, by forcing an end to the Israeli siege thus letting in the fuel required to run the power plants, essential medicines and medical supplies, and the equipment needed to provide emergency civil defence services – not only for this particular crisis, but on a permanent basis.
Yousef Al-Helou reports that the death toll has risen to 89, most of them being civilians including 21 children since November 14th, in addition to over 800 people injured, 98% of them are civilians.
Over 1200 Israeli air strikes have been carried out, many residential houses have been hit, hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties, and short of medial supplies.
At a Press Conference outside Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City the Minister of Health Dr Mofed Al Makhalalaty called on the international community to immediately intervene to prevent another massacre of Gaza civilians, such as occurred during Operation Cast Lead four years ago.
Declaring a state of emergency, the Minister told journalists that ambulance crews, as well as emergency and operating rooms in Gaza have been on a high level of alert for the last week, but that the chronic shortage of medicines and supplies caused by the siege is being exacerbated by the numbers of injuries caused in today’s attacks.
He recalled that in one day during Operation Cast Lead, one month’s medical supplies were exhausted in only one day, and said if the situation deteriorates further they will not be able to cope.
He called on the international community and the Islamic world to send emergency aid to the Gaza Strip, especially medical supplies and drugs to deal with the injuries resulting from the Israeli attacks.
Shortly after the Press Conference, the head of an Egyptian delegation of pharmacists currently visiting Gaza, Dr Mohamed Abdel Gawad, announced that in the next 24 hours a delegation of surgeons will arrive from Egypt to provide any necessary assistance to Palestinian doctors.
Dr Mohamed Abdel Gawad said, “What hurts me and hurts my colleagues is that we as Arabs are not doing our duty towards you.”
At the time of writing, the death toll stood at 8, with 90 injuries, the vast majority of them civilians, and including many women and children.