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Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

Since the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip began on Tuesday July 6, 2014 the primary target has been clear – civilians.

The victims have generally been targeted in residential areas, and the vast majority were hit inside their own homes.

Of the 135 deaths to date, 40 percent have been women and children.

The number of injured has risen to 1017, women and children accounting for 62 percent.

Entire families have been wiped out - the Hamad, Kaware, Manasra, Al Haj, Abo Jamea, Abdel Ghafour, Ghanam, Arje and Astal families.

The types of we aponry and delivery systems being used – rockets and missiles from F16’s, drones, Apaches, tanks and gunboats – produce severe injuries, including complex crush injuries from collapsed buildings and massive destructive injuries caused by prohibited DIME weapons.

Such injuries place huge demands not only on the currently over-stretched emergency services, but also on long-term rehabilitative facilities.

The only specialist rehabilitation facility in the Palestinian territories, El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital in eastern Gaza city, was itself hit by six missiles over the last two days, showing there is no safe place in Gaza, even inside health facilities.

The El Mabarrat El Rahma institute for disabled people was attacked early Saturday morning by an F-16 without warning in the Northern Province of Gaza Strip, killing three people with disabilities, wounding another three, and totally demolishing the facility.

The European Gaza Hospital, a general hospital based in Rafah city, was targeted on Wednesday July 9 and part of the roof collapsed, injuring a nurse, Mohammed AlNajar.
An ambulance was also targeted that day in North Gaza, injuring ambulance officer Mr Nader Al Buhasay.

The Red Crescent Ambulance station in north Gaza was targeted on Thursday July 10.

Dr Anas Abo El Kass, a pharmacist with no connection to military activities whatsoever, was killed inside his home in a targeted airstrike.

More than 50 percent of primary health care facilities remain closed, with staff and patients unable to safely access them due to their proximity to the borders. Hundreds of patients with chronic conditions are thus left without medication, or appropriate care.

Even hospitals in the main cities have no safe access for staff or patients – any person walking in the street, driving in their car is considered a valid target to Israel.

Constant military bombardment, exposure to gross and graphic dismemberment on a daily basis, and the unrelenting stress from confinement in close quarters is producing massive psychological trauma in children and adults alike – trauma for which there are no available services.

Essential medicines and medical supplies are severely depleted, and if casualties continue at the current rate, the deficiency will rapidly rise to 80 percent.

Fuel needs for the hospitals have quadrupled due to damage to electricity supply lines combined with the extra demands on health services, ambulances, and health transport.

The situation is critical, and Gaza’s health systems will collapse within days without urgent international intervention to ensure the provision of fuel and medical supplies, and their movement across the borders.

It is clear that the acts committed by the Israeli army, the targeting of civilians, of hospitals and health care worker and facilities, and the use of prohibited weapons such as DIME, are serious violations of human rights and international law, including the fourth Geneva Convention.

The Gaza Ministry of Health requires urgent support from human rights organizations and the international community, to enable it to continue to provide health care for the hundreds of victims of Israeli attacks, and to prevent yet more deaths and suffering. We therefore call on them to:
1. Pressure the Israeli Government to immediately cease military aggression against Gaza;
2. Open the borders and lift the siege imposed on Gaza, to assure free movement patients and health professionals across the borders;
3. Help us secure enough essential medications, medical supplies, and fuel to handle the hundreds of additional patients in our already over-stretched hospitals;
4. Bring the killers of our civilian population to justice before the international courts, including for their use of prohibited weapons.

ENDS

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