Red Cross: Gaza hospitals on the brink of collapse, Shifa Hospital alone is dealing with 400 injured, and this can not continue
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
July 31, 2014
Gaza hospitals are operating under impossible conditions, with surgery now being performed in corridors and on the floor due to the sheer numbers of wounded from massacres such as Shati park, UNRWA school and Shujeiyah market.
Lack of theatre space sees two persons being operated on at a time in the same theatre, while others receive surgical interventions in the corridors.
Even beds are in such short supply that surgeons are forced to undertake complicated procedures while their patients lie on stretchers on the floor.
There is nowhere to send the patients post-operatively, with Shifa ICU full, and no vacant beds in surgical wards. (more…)
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
July 29, 2014
The Ministry of Health Gaza is pained to express its deep sadness and outrage at the Israeli attacks on Gaza on our holy days of Eid al-Fitr.
In the last 24 hours, 120 people have been killed, bringing the total to 1,156.
Particularly distressing was the death in Al Bureij refugee camp of Diana Abu Jaber and her unborn baby only a week before his estimated date of delivery.
Diana’s home was struck by an F-16 airstrike.
“As it collapsed a concrete pillar fell on her,” reported Dr Kamal Khatab, Medical Superintendent of Al Aqsa Hospital. “A shell ripped her abdomen open, the unborn baby fell out and was hit in the head with shrapnel, and his brain matter was extruded. Both mother and baby died immediately.” (more…)
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Mahar Hamid Sheikh-Khalil is seven years old. She used to have a mother and father, three sisters and a brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
She used to play with her brother and sisters and their cousins, scampering about the yard or on the roof, sometimes in the street with the neighbours’ kids. She used to walk, and skip and jump. She used to run up the stairs from her grandmother’s on the ground floor to her family’s apartment on the top floor. The same stairs that on July 20 crushed her family, along with their hopes and dreams. (more…)
Ministry of Health Gaza
July 27, 2014
Hospitals in Gaza are confronting a new crisis, as patients ready for discharge are unable to leave, taking up hospital beds urgently required for the incoming wounded.
The situation for many of these patients is dire: either their families have been killed or there is no-one to care for them, their homes have been destroyed, or they live in areas under Israeli orders to evacuate and are under threat of being shot if they return.
Several attacks on UNRWA schools serving as shelters for displaced persons have left these already traumatised and still-vulnerable victims too distrustful to accept them as a discharge option. In addition, the over-crowded and under-resourced conditions in the shelters are an unsuitable environment for the recuperating injured, with limited water, hygiene and electricity supplies. (more…)
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
Individuals from Spain, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia and Venezuela today began a constant protective presence at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in response to increasing attacks on medical facilities and personnel by the Israeli military.
One of Gaza’s hospitals has been totally destroyed, a paediatric hospital so severely damaged it is unusable, and another six have been severely damaged. Four health professionals have been killed and 14 injured. Two medical clinics and 14 ambulances have been completely destroyed, and seven other clinics have been damaged. (more…)
The Palestinian government today welcomed to Gaza an Egyptian delegation headed by Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, which included the Minister of Health, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, as well as a Presidential Adviser, and other leading government figures.
Dr. Youssef Rizqa, Political Adviser to the Palestinian Prime Minister, said the Palestinian government greatly appreciates the decision taken by the Egyptian government to withdraw its ambassador from Israel, and that this visit, undertaken on the initiative of the Egyptian presidency, is a very important expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Rizqa stressed that Gaza needs the entire Arab and Islamic nation to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, and such visits are essential to their morale.
Rizqa termed the decision to visit “brave,” and said that it represent s a breaking of the Arab silence.
Special Adviser to the Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Da’ales described the Egyptian delegation’s visit as an official political and humanitarian one that aims to complete solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza.
He strongly denied any suggestion that the visit is linked with negotiations for re a truce with the Israeli occupation, noting that the visit will take only 3 hours, and include discussion of the general political situation and that of the Gaza Strip, as well as a quick visit to Shifa Hospital.
Visit to Shifa Hospital
On being shown the charred body of a child, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was horrified, and said, “The Gaza tragedy cannot be tolerated.”
He added that Egypt would not hesitate in its efforts to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, to achieve calm and continuity.
Saying that Palestine is in the heart of the Arab nation, he called on the world to shoulder its responsibilities to curb Israel’s aggression, and demanded that Israel respect international conventions and law.
He noted that the Israeli aggression highlights the need for all parties to achieve Palestinian unity for the sake of the Palestinian people.
Prime Minister Qandil advised that he was accompanied by the Egyptian Minister of Health in order to discuss the needs of Gaza hospitals, and what supplies are required.
“This visit will be followed by visits of both formal and informal delegations,” he concluded.
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.
The Israeli air-strike that killed Al Qassam commander Ahmad Al Jaabari targeted him while he was in a car at the gates of Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
There is a transport station outside Al Shifa hospital for people coming from all parts of the Gaza Strip. The gates of Shifa Hospital always have many civilians nearby, at all hours of the day and night.
This is a very clear CIVILIAN TARGET, and constitutes a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.