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Medecins du Monde condemns Israel’s use of force against civilians in Gaza

Médecins du Monde volunteers seen working with refugees in Brussels [Le Soir]

Médecins du Monde volunteers seen working with refugees in Brussels

Médecins du Monde (MDM) Chapters working in Palestine yesterday expressed their deepest concern regarding Israel’s violent response against Palestinian civilians demonstrating near the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, the MDM said: “In the short span of only six Fridays, the Israeli army has killed 45 Palestinians, including four children, and injured more than 7,930 civilians protesting for their right to return.”

Highlighting a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the MDM added that more than 99 healthcare staff have been injured and 18 ambulances damaged as a result of Israel’s violent response to the unarmed protesters.

“So far, the hospitals in Gaza have treated 4,045 victims with severe injuries, 18 per cent of them are under age and less than half of the urgent patients requiring referral to other hospitals outside Gaza have received the necessary exit permit from Israel,” the statement said.

Read: The Maiming Fields of Gaza

It added: “The high number of emergency cases is challenging hospitals’ capacity and putting on hold thousands of elective surgeries.”

The MDM said:

The excessive use of force against Palestinians demonstrating in Gaza is a violation of the right to life, health and freedom of assembly.

According to the statement, the MDM said: “To this date, the use of live ammunition has severely injured 2,178 civilians. The majority of gunshot wounds have been to lower limbs, causing severe orthopaedic and vascular injuries leaving hundreds of the victims handicapped.”

The statement stated that the crisis in Gaza “comes on top of a protracted situation,”, noting that “for over 11 years the Israeli government has imposed a strict land, air and sea military blockade to Gaza.”

This, it added, “qualified as a violation of international humanitarian law, this collective punishment has had disastrous consequences on the daily life of millions of Palestinians.”

“While the availability of goods is the most visible aspect, the impacts of the blockade are ubiquitous along the Strip and felt every single day.”

MDM noted that the health services in particular are constantly struggling to cope with the increasing problems as “water pollution and lack of potable water represent an imminent risk of waterborne diseases, almost half of the essential drugs and disposables are constantly unavailable and electricity cuts limit the regular provision to four hours, and therefore hampering the quality and services primary health centres and hospitals provide.”

The three MDM Chapters in Palestine, namely Doctors of the World France, Spain and Switzerland, “condemn Israel’s excessive use of force against healthcare staff and civilians demonstrating in the Gaza Strip since March 30 and adhere to the international call for an independent investigation of each incident.”

“MDM chapters call for the absolute respect to the right to health, in particular eliminating any obstacle to access to health services outside the Gaza strip.”

They urged the European Union to take concrete measures in order to implement the EU Parliament resolution 2018/2663(RSP) calling for the immediate and unconditional end to the blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 08.05.2018)

Due To Large Number Of Injuries, P.A Health Ministry Delays 4000 Scheduled Surgeries

25 APR
5:31 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has announced delaying 4000 scheduled surgeries for patients in the coastal region due to the excessively high number of Palestinians who were shot by the Israeli army during the “Great March of Return Protests.”

The Ministry said the patients who have scheduled surgeries were official informed of postponing their medical procedures due to the large number of Palestinians, injured by Israeli army fire.

The head of the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Abdul-Latif al-Haj, said the wounded Palestinians, and due to the varying nature of their injuries, consume more medical supplies than ordinary patients, especially sterilized bandages, stitches, and surgery tools, in addition to various sorts of antibiotics, IV solutions, and anti-coagulants.

He said that the number of external bone fixation devices used on patients who suffered gunshot wounds, since March 30th, is more than the average amount for an entire year.

It is worth mentioning that the army have killed 39 Palestinians, and shot more than 25000 others, since the nonviolent protests started in the Gaza Strip on Palestinian Land Day, March 30 2018.

(Source / 25.04.2018)

Medical delegation from 1948 occupied Palestine arrives in Gaza

Doctor delegation Gaza

The government information office in Gaza on Friday refuted Israeli allegations that an Israeli eight-doctor delegation arrived in Gaza ahead of expected Friday protests.

Head of the office Salama Ma’rouf said in a press statement that the medical delegation is composed of Palestinian doctors coming from the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.

Ma’rouf explained that Israel’s efforts to beautify its image through “cheap propaganda” are a failed attempt to evade responsibility for all crimes committed against peaceful protesters in Gaza.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health announced that it had received a Palestinian medical delegation from Physicians for Human Rights organization headed by Dr. Salah Haj Yahya.

The Ministry thanked Physicians for Human Rights for responding to its call and sending a medical delegation that would help provide treatment to Gaza-based Palestinians and offer some medical training.

At least 34 Palestinians have been killed and over 3,000 injured by Israeli gunfire in the daily Return protests which started on 30th March along Gaza’s border with the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 13.04.2018)

Gaza’s only power plant stops work due to lack of fuel

Palestinians burn firewood to keep warm due to the shortage of electricity in Gaza [Apaimages]

Palestinians burn firewood to keep warm due to the shortage of electricity in Gaza

The Palestinian Energy Authority yesterday stopped operations at the only power station in the Gaza Strip due to a lack of fuel to operate it.

“The Energy Authority informed us this afternoon that it had stopped work at the power station because there was no fuel to operate it,” said Mohammad Thabit, director of public relations and information at the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company.

“We currently have 120 megawatts per day coming from Israel after the Egyptian lines stopped working nearly three months ago. We will try with the available energy to maintain the four hour schedule, but the hours of power outage will exceed 12 hours,” he added in an interview with Quds Press.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “very difficult to collect the necessary revenues to meet the various financial obligations towards energy suppliers as well as the operating costs.”

Read: Gaza hospital suspends services due to fuel shortages

The company explained that the economic conditions and pressures will significantly affect the continued provision of services, adding that it fears that it will not be able to continue to perform its normal services.

It warned that this situation will endanger every aspect of Palestinian lives in the besieged Gaza Strip and will affect the provision of other services including in the health and medical sectors.

The company called on the international community and international humanitarian relief institutions to act urgently to stop the deterioration of electrical services.

(Source / 13.04.2018)

UNICEF: Less than 4% of ground water in Gaza is usable

A Palestinian boy drinks water from public pipes in the Gaza Strip

Chief of UNICEF Gaza Field Office Tania McBride has said less than 4 per cent of Gaza’s ground water is usable.

During a ceremony held yesterday to mark World Water Day McBride highlighted the dangers of water pollution and pumping wastewater into the sea, particularly for Palestinian children. She reiterated that UNICEF works with several local and international partner institutions to reduce water damage and provide safe drinking water in the enclave.

Manager of the Islamic Relief Community Development Programme, Hossam Jouda, said his agency has been collaborating with the local community to provide safe drinking water, pointing to the importance of raising awareness.

Deputy Chairman of the Water Authority, Mr. Ribhi Al-Sheikh, highlighted the Water Authority’s efforts to secure access to clean water. Around 90 per cent of Palestinian water resources are under Israeli control.

He stressed on the need for necessary funding and implement development programmes for the water system.

Read: 97% of water in Gaza is polluted

(Source / 06.04.2018)

Former prisoner’s life, health at risk as he is denied right to travel outside Gaza

Tariq Ezzedine

Former Palestinian prisoner Tariq Ezzedine continues to be denied access to lifesaving medical treatment, reported colleagues and his family. Ezzedine was released to the Gaza Strip as part of the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange agreement; however, the Egyptian government continues to prevent him from traveling through the Rafah crossing to receive treatment.

Jaafar Ezzedine, Tariq’s brother, spoke to Palestinian news agency Wattan TV; he noted that his brother has leukemia, a form of blood cancer. He has been hospitalized in Gaza for two months but requires treatment that is only available abroad. While his doctors have prepared his medical reports and arranged for him to receive treatment, he has been denied entry into Egypt on two occasions.  His brother is also a former prisoner who participated in a long-term hunger strike in Israeli prisons while held without charge or trial.

During an opening of the Rafah crossing last week, Ezzedine came to the crossing two times after his name was registered on the lists of people approved to travel. Despite this, he was denied on both occasions.

He noted that Palestinian ministries confirmed that Ezzedine’s name was in fact on the list and when Tariq went to the crossing, he was held there for a full day, his passport was kept and taken before he was told that he would not be admitted and must return to Gaza.

Jaafar Ezzedine said that it is apparent that Israeli pressure on the Egyptian government is being exerted in order to prevent Tariq from traveling. He noted that the family will hold a press conference in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah on 3 April in order to escalate pressure on Egypt to allow free travel to Tariq Ezzedine.

Khader Adnan, prominent Palestinian prisoner, also issued a statement from prison, urging action to save the life of Tariq Ezzedine after the deterioration of his health. He emphasized the moral responsibility of the Egyptian authorities to allow Ezzedine to pass and reject the malicious role of the Israeli occupation. He called on all of the Palestinian factions and the former prisoners in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Qatar to act before it is too late for Ezzedine.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Dozens of Palestinian Detainees Have Died Directly Following Release

27 MAR
7:59 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies stated  that dozens of released Palestinian detainees died of  serious illnesses they sustained  during the period of detention, of deliberate medical negligence, and lack of proper treatment by Israeli prison services .

The spokesperson of Center, Reyad al-Ashqar said, in a statement, that Israeli occupation authorities hold direct responsibility for dozens of detainees who died  just a few months after their release.

Ex-detainee Hasan Shawamra, 48, from Doura town, recently passed on after becoming sick with cancer during his detention.

Al-Ashqar pointed out that Shawamra died at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. He was detained on 2/22/16 and spent 17 months in Israeli prisons.

He further noted, according to Al Ray, that the Israeli occupation court issued a decision to release him on July 29, 2017, because of the deterioration of his health condition. He was hospitalized after his release in several hospitals for treatment, but without benefit.

Al-Ashqar accused the occupation of deliberately neglecting the treatment of sick detainees and leaving them for years without medical care or real examinations until the disease finally worsened. This policy is considered an indirect form of murder, as they died  after serving their sentences and, thus, Israel can not bear responsibility for their deaths. .

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate detention conditions and the medical care that is provided to detainees, and to identify the causes of serious diseases in prisons that lead to their deaths both inside and out.

03/26/18 Former Political Prisoner Dies From Cancer

(Source / 28.03.2018)

3,651 babies born in Gaza in February

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017

In February 3,651 new babies were born and 302 people died in the besieged Gaza Strip according to statistics from the Palestinian interior ministry, Quds Press reported yesterday.

According to the statistics, 51 per cent of the newborns were males and 49 per cent were females.

During the same month the ministry said that it registered 302 deaths, noting that 168 of them were males and 134 were females.

Read: UNRWA to cancel work contracts of 97 Palestinian engineers in Gaza

Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the entire world with more than 2 million residents living in an area of only 365 square kilometres. At least one third of this area is a closed military zone along the eastern borders of the Strip.

At the same time Gaza has been under a strict Israeli and internationally-backed siege since mid-2007 and the UN has repeatedly warned that it would be unliveable by 2020 or earlier.

(Source / 06.03.2018)

Gaza girl in need of transplant travels without parents after Israel denies permits

Thirteen-year-old Palestinian Inaam Al-Attar cries after arriving to Palestine Medical Centre in Ramallah without her parents as they were denied permission to travel by Israel

A Palestinian girl was forced to travel without either of her parents to the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday in order to have a kidney transplant.

Thirteen-year-old Inaam Al-Attar arrived to the Palestine Medical Centre in Ramallah with her uncle, who she is receiving the transplant from, after her parents were denied permission to travel with her from the besieged coastal enclave.

The governor of Ramallah, Laila Ghannam, welcomed Inaam, who was filmed by several Palestinian news channels crying in the hospital saying she wanted to see her mother.

Inaam’s mother, Salwa, was given permission by Israel to be with her daughter earlier today, the Palestinian Authority (PA) owned Wafa news agency reported.

Earlier this month, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) released a joint statement saying the record-low rate of permits issued by Israel for Palestinians seeking vital medical treatment outside Gaza “underlines the urgent need for Israel to end its decade-long closure of the Gaza Strip”.

Read: 54 Palestinians from Gaza died in 2017 awaiting Israeli travel permits

(Source / 28.02.2018)

UN says Food Aid for Palestinian Refugees May End Soon (VIDEO)

24 FEB
8:22 PM

The head of the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza warns that it cannot guarantee food distribution beyond the end of June.

The agency is blaming major funding cuts by the United States for this situation.

There are growing concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and its potential to prompt conflict with Israel.

~Al Jazeera/Days of Palestine

02/24/18 Gaza Municipal Services Reduced by 50%

(Source / 24.02.2018)