Severe fuel shortage forces closure of five hospitals in Gaza

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Palestinian medical researchers work in a hospital laboratory in Gaza City, to develop antibiotics and fungus. Xinhua

GAZA (NNN-Wafa) – Palestinian health officials in Gaza, have warned of an unprecedented huma-nitarian catastrophe, after five major hospitals in the Gaza Strip stopped working, due to a severe shortage of fuel.

Mohamad Abu Selmeya, director of Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital for cancer patients, told a news conference that, his hospital suffers from a severe fuel shortage, that disabled the hospital to generate electricity.

“This would certainly have a disastrous impact on the health services that we provide to the patients,” he said.

The shortage of electricity in the Gaza Strip has been ongoing since 2006.

“Stopping medical services in these hospitals, deprives thousands of patients of getting daily medical services all over the Gaza Strip,” he added.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza had issued an urgent appeal to all those concerned, on “the need to get out of the state of silence and take serious steps to solve the crisis and protect the rights of treatment of patients.”

The ministry needs about 300,000 liters of fuel per day, to be distributed to 13 hospitals and 53 primary care centres in the impoverished enclave.

The ministry announced that, the Beit Hanoun hospital, which provides services to some 340,000 Palestinians in northern Gaza Strip, has stopped providing services due to the acute fuel crisis.

The Gaza Strip suffers from a deficit in its electricity supply needs, forcing the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company to rely on a schedule of eight hours of electricity per day.

Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million people since the mid-2007, after Hamas takeover of the enclave.

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