Gaza Strip Heading Towards Humanitarian Crisis: Officials, A...| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 04:56 GMT

Gaza Strip Heading Towards Humanitarian Crisis: Officials, Analyst


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA

GAZA: Spokesman for Palestinian Health Ministry Dr. Ashraf Al Qedra said they started a countdown for a full paralysis in the health services in the Gaza Strip amid the relentless Israeli aggression that led to ongoing disruption in energy supply to the only power station in the enclave, warning of a catastrophic situation in the enclave's hospitals with the remaining fuels unable to cover the coming 72 hours.

Speaking in exclusive statements to QNA, Al Qedra said the aggression coincided with a 40 percent shortage in key medications, particularly emergency drugs, medical equipment and operation rooms as well as 32 percent cut in substantial and sensitive medical equipment and 60 percent shortage in blood banks and laboratory equipment.

He further warned that healthcare system in the enclave will fail to meet the colossal challenges with the Israeli aggression thwarting entry of 24 diagnostic X-ray equipment and spare parts for damaged equipment.

The Gaza Strip is bracing for an inevitable humanitarian crisis amid the ongoing Israeli aggression, mounting casualty tolls and the colossal devastation of facilities as well as subsequent tightened besiege and the closure of Karm Abu Salem Crossing, the only crossing through which the enclave is supplied with food commodities, fuel, medications and other equipment.

Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDC) announced a hiatus in its services over the closure of crossings and shortages in energy which resulted in exacerbating health and social crises for more than two million Palestinian in the encircled enclave.

The patients are currently unable to move to hospitals in the occupied territories, Jerusalem and occupied West Bank with the occupation shutting down Beit Hanoun crossing in northern Gaza, Al Qedra said, noting that the occupation authorities, over the past days, thwarted dozens of patients, including those suffering from tumors, heart abnormalities and other chronic diseases, from access to hospitals.

He warned that the health situation is getting even worse amid the aggression with the ministry of health cancelling scheduled operations and closing clinics to dedicate all facilities available to treat those injured due to the relentless aggression, indicating that they have contacted all humanitarian and relief organizations worldwide in vain.

Al Qedra urged all international relief organizations and friends of Palestine to meet all urgent needs of the ministry of health particularly those related to medications, intensive care units and operations as well as fuel to prevent a looming humanitarian and health crisis in the enclave.

For his part, the Director of Public Relations and Media at the Gaza Power Generating Company Mohammad Thabet said that the situation is catastrophic due to the running out of fuel, and the suspension of work in the power plant. To make things worse, the disruption of a major electricity line that feeds the northern region from the 'Jabalia Camp' took place caused by the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Thabet continued that there is a scarce amount of electricity compared to the huge demand of 570 megawatts, whilst the electricity company only has 108 megawatts, making the deficit gap stand at about 80 percent.

The Public Relations Director explained that the deficit will be reflected in the electricity distribution schedule, where electricity will be provided for four hours, only to be disconnected for 16 hours, if not more. 

Thabet explained that satisfying the electricity demand of all vital facilities such as hospitals, water wells, water desalination and treatment plants will be impossible, affecting all these sectors, especially the health sector.

As for the fuel reserves, Thabet explained that they started to run out, especially since the stock is not sufficient for more than ten days, add to that the Israeli occupations closing of the 'Karam Abu Salem Crossing', preventing the entry of fuel since six days. The official hoped that the mediations succeed in stopping this brutal aggression.

Moreover, he called on the United Nations and all concerned parties to push for sparing the electricity dossier the impact of the political and security reality, compelling the occupation not to use this file to pressure civilians in Gaza.

An Israeli Air Force Apache helicopter fires flares in the sky above the Israel-Gaza border on August 7, 2022. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

In turn, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Media Advisor Adnan Abu Hasna described in an exclusive statement to QNA that the situation in Gaza was already very tragic before the current escalation, where the unemployment rate has reached 50 percent, on top of other grave issues such as an energy crisis and with water unfit for human consumption, not to mention the heavily restricted movement from and to the Gaza Strip. 

Moreover, he remarked that the reconstruction projects from the last war have not been completed to this day, as UNRWA only managed to reconstruct 50 percent of destroyed homes.

Regarding the work of UNRWA employees in light of the current crisis, the media advisor said that UNRWA decided to reduce the number of working hours in its clinics due to the dangerous security conditions. 

Only the main employees in the health sector and the environmental office will be working, stressing that there is great pressure on the health sector due to power cuts, making the performance of surgeries impossible, in addition to the running out of medicines. Abu Hasna added that this will not only affect the public health sector and UNRWA, but also private clinics.

On the other hand, the economic analyst Mohsen Abu Ramadan told QNA that the Gaza Strip is a delicate border strip with a very large population density, where more than two million people live in difficult humanitarian conditions, and very limited natural resources, strategic materials, and goods, of inadequate amounts if any, leading the situation towards explosion.

Abu Ramadan indicated that the 'Karam Abu Salem Crossing' is the only commercial crossing through which foodstuffs and fuel enters the strip, and now that it has been closed by the occupation forces the past six days, all basic consumption materials have run out, leading up to real humanitarian catastrophe if this crossing is not reopened as soon as possible.

Regarding the situation of hospitals, Abu Ramadan pointed out that the shortage of medical supplies and medicines reached about 40 percent, add to that an energy shortage. 

Consequently the economic analyst stressed that the crisis requires an urgent relief call from all official authorities and relevant bodies, to Immediately intervene to end this closure, and bring in basic goods and commodities, to prevent the collapse of humanitarian and living conditions.

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