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Cablegate: Gaza Hospitals Struggle to Serve Public; Jordan

VZCZCXRO3077
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1296/01 1731101
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221101Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8145
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001296

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
WILLIAMS/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; PRM FOR PDAS GREENE AND
PRM/ANE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/WATERS; TREASURY FOR
SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON; BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE
PASS TO USAID FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN KPAL KWBG PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: GAZA HOSPITALS STRUGGLE TO SERVE PUBLIC; JORDAN
DELIVERS FOOD SHIPMENTS

REF: JERUSALEM 1274

1. (SBU) Summary: Critical health care assistance is being
supplied to Gaza hospitals, including a truck load of
dialysis equipment funded by USAID. ICRC and other
international organizations have resumed their work in Gaza.
Twenty-one truck loads of food aid were shipped into Gaza
June 21.

Hospital Equipment Needs Spare Parts;
Al Quds Hospital Not Operational
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) ICRC Chief of Mission Katharina Ritz, who had just
returned from Gaza June 22, told Econoff June 22 that Gaza
hospitals' supply of medicine is sufficient for the next
week. However, she added that laboratory machines and
medical equipment have been breaking down recently due to the
lack of spare parts and maintenance. Gaza-based WHO National
Health officer Mahmoud Daher told Econoff June 22 that, due
to a lack of spare parts normally shipped from Israel, only
one of the three Computed Tomography (CT) scanners in Gaza is
operational.

3. (SBU) Ritz said, as of June 22, Al Quds hospital remains
closed. She said that on June 14-15 most Al Quds patients
were transferred to Dar al-Shifa Hospital, as Al Quds
Hospital became a site of intense fighting. Several patients
went home for treatment in fear of the Hamas gunmen posted at
Dar al-Shifa. Al Quds Hospital's shattered windows, broken
doors, and blown electrical systems are all being repaired,
according to Ritz.

ICRC Delivers Team of Surgeons;
USAID Delivers Dialysis Items
-----------------------------

4. (SBU) Ritz said that a four-person ICRC surgical team is
scheduled to arrive in Gaza June 23 to assist with operations
in Gaza City's Dar al-Shifa Hospital. The two orthopedic
surgeons (one Dutch, the other Italian), the Swiss
anesthesiologist and the Finnish nurse are scheduled to begin
work June 24. ICRC delivered two truckloads of "war-wound"
kits - containing surgical kits, medical tools, gauze, and
bandages - through Kerem Shalom June 21, along with a
shipment of antibiotics through Erez crossing. ICRC
purchased 20,000 liters of diesel fuel at Nahal Oz fuel
transfer station June 21 and delivered them to 17 public
water pumps and hospital generators throughout Gaza.


5. (SBU) WHO's Daher said that five injured Gazans were
transported by ICRC through Erez to Israeli hospitals June 21
and two were scheduled for June 22. In comparison, ICRC had
transported an average of 20 Gazans per day to Israeli
hospitals in the months prior to the recent violence,
according to Daher. Thirty-five American citizens also
departed through Erez in a Consulate-organized evacuation on
June 21 (septel).

6. (SBU) USAID staff reported that a truck load of dialysis
items are being shipped through Kerem Shalom June 22 under
AID's Emergency Medical Assistance Program (EMAP). These
items will be distributed by NGO CARE international to MOH
hospitals.

Food Arrives
------------

7. (SBU) WFP Spokesperson Kirstie Campbell told Econoff June
22 that WFP had delivered this week a total of 15 truck loads
of food through Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza - seven June 19
and eight June 20. WFP plans to ship 10 truck loads of aid
through Kerem Shalom each work day, beginning June 24, per an
agreement made this week between PLO Chief Negotiator Sa'eb
Erekat and COGATT. Campbell mentioned that the IDF requested
June 21 that WFP begin shipping its humanitarian aid through
Sufa crossing, instead of Kerem Shalom. Campbell did not
know whey the IDF made this request, but she added that WFP
is determined at this point to ship through Kerem Shalom.
Campbell confirmed that the Palestinian Red Crescent Society
shipped 21 trucks of food aid and soap supplied by Jordan

JERUSALEM 00001296 002 OF 002


through Kerem Shalom on June 21.

8. (SBU) UNRWA Gaza Director John Ging told Poloff June 22
that his organization has two more weeks of food supplies in
Gaza and added that UNRWA has 104 containers of food and
other humanitarian supplies at Ashdod port that they would
like to move to Gaza.

Prices Hold;
Crossings Information
---------------------

9. (SBU) Daher said that Gaza market prices have remained
the same June 20-22 - flour and sugar prices continue to be
40 percent higher than normal. As major food shipments have
recently arrived, Gazans are somewhat less concerned about
short-term food supplies. Dairy items and fruits are in
limited supply. Fish is available and priced cheaper than
normal as no fish has been exported since June 11. Daher
said that the continued closure of Karni/al-Mintar crossing
continues to greatly limit humanitarian aid to Gazans.

10. (SBU) Nahal Oz fuel transfer station is open June 22,
while Karni/al-Mintar and Sufa are closed. Kerem Shalom is
open to humanitarian shipments. Erez continues to be closed
to all Palestinians, except to two ICRC-sponsored medical
cases June 22.
WALLES

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