Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gaza [Part Of Future State of Palestine] Hospitals Face Severe Crisis Due To Western And Israeli Economic Boycott

"Gaza [Future State of Palestine] hospitals are facing a crisis because of a western and Israeli economic boycott, and an Israeli military offensive. The United Nations has warned of an increasingly desperate humanitarian situation.

“The siege and closure imposed by Israel have hindered medical aid from Jordan, Qatar, the Red Cross and the EU from reaching us,” said Dr Ma'awiya Hasanein, general manager of the emergency section in the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza is a Palestinian-administered strip of land bordering Israel and Egypt. It was fully occupied by Israel from 1967 until mid-2005, when it was handed over to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

The Israeli military re-entered Gaza and began an offensive there soon after Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier at the Karem Shalom crossing, which is Israeli territory, on 25 June.

Efforts by Egyptian mediators to negotiate the soldier’s release have not succeeded. More than 200 Palestinians, many civilians, have been killed in air raids and ground assaults since then.

In contrast to Lebanon, where humanitarian aid needs are generally being met, Gaza has been virtually cut off. With a crippled infrastructure and low and unreliable power and water supplies, its 1.4 million citizens face a daily struggle to survive.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that an increasing number of Palestinians are facing impoverishment.

“WFP food assistance is acting as a band aid in an attempt to prevent a further decline of livelihoods and nutrition among the poorest,” said Arnold Vercken, WFP country director in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT)." ... UN humanitarian news and information service "OPT: Gaza siege causing major health crisis" August 29, 2006

Gaza's hospitals, in the Future State of Palestine, require modernization and international aid.

Photo credit: HUMANSERVE International, Society for Relief and Development, Alberta, Canada. With thanks.


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