UN: Over 1,400 Palestinian protesters in Gaza may suffer long-term disability

Palestinians, who were wounded by Israeli soldiers during a protest, organized to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, and against United States' plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, receive treatments at European Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on 17 May, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Injured Palestinians can be seen after they were wounded by Israeli soldiers during the Great March of Return in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 May 2018

Some 1,400 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces during “Great March of Return” protests in the occupied Gaza Strip face the possibility of “long-term disability”, a United Nations agency has said.

The UN OCHA report, contributed by the World Health Organisation and the Disability Working Group, describes how Gaza’s “health sector has continued to struggle with the cumulative caseload of serious injuries, particularly those requiring long-term rehabilitation”.

One obstacle, for example, is that “the import to Gaza of materials required for the production of artificial limbs, including carbon fibre and epoxy resins, is restricted, due to Israel’s consideration of these materials as ‘dual use’ items, which could be used also for military purposes.”

Since the start of demonstrations on 30 March up to 30 June, says the report, a total of 15,501 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces, of whom 8,221 required hospitalisation. Among the latter, 63 per cent were limb injuries, and nearly half (4,023) were the result of gunshot wounds.

Official: 137 Palestinians killed in Gaza’s Great Marches of Return

As of 3 July, 53 Palestinians had received lower limb amputations and eight had upper limb, with 11 of the amputees children. “Additionally, at least ten other Palestinians have been left paralyzed following spinal cord injuries,” OCHA added.

As of 26 June, meanwhile, more than 1,400 Palestinians “with severe injuries are at risk of longer-term physical disability”, including “454 patients who suffered severe vascular injuries and 954 patients who sustained comminuted fractures”.

Deaths and injuries from Gaza demonstrations and other incidents 30 March to 30 June 2018 [UN OCHA]

(Source / 13.07.2018)

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