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Gaza’s health sector on brink of collapse

THE LEVANT – Dr. Mohammad Abu Arab has warned, in an exclusive interview with the PIC, that medical services in Gaza city are on the brink of collapse as the Israeli aggression against the Strip continues for the 20th day running, calling for immediate action to save Gaza health sector.

Abu Arab, who resides in Norway, came to Gaza in the early days of the Israeli aggression as a volunteer at Shifa Hospital.

Dr. Abu Arab said the general health conditions in Gaza are catastrophic. “We are forced to use expired drugs due to acute lack of medicines while many other essential drugs are in dire shortage.”

He pointed out that Israel has committed war crimes during its ongoing aggression, explaining that it used internationally-banned weapons including DIME and White Phosphor. He held the international community responsible for its continued silence over these crimes.

Palestinian doctors in Europe have made contacts with European health institutions and international humanitarian organizations to brief them about the very difficult health situation in the besieged Strip.

“Israeli strikes are launched randomly with no military targets at all,” he told Gulf News. “The majority of them are innocent civilians. Many of them are children and women, which proves that the vengeful Israeli assaults target civilians”, the doctor said.

“We have come to this conclusion according to the statistics of the injured people and the nature of the injuries where victims, heads and chests are mainly targeted by the Israeli forces,” he said.

“The wholesale killing of Palestinian civilians clearly indicates that killers on the field had been ordered to kill as many of those civilians as they can in the shortest possible time. This inhuman trend of war must be halted with immediate effect.”

“Gaza health capabilities were far better in the previous two aggressions than the current catastrophic conditions of the ongoing assault,” he said. “The humanitarian conditions in Gaza imply an immediate lift of the blockade imposed on the coastal enclave as this blockade is in itself a crime against humanity.”

For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged on Friday the creation of a humanitarian corridor in the besieged Gaza Strip to allow for the evacuation of the wounded.

“WHO is calling for the creation of a humanitarian corridor … to reach various crossings and to help in the evacuation of the large number of injured people,” said Paul Garwood, a spokesman for the UN health agency.

“There’s a daily increase in casualty figures,” he told reporters.

Garwood said WHO representatives had been in contact in recent days with Israel as well as Egypt to discuss the possibility of setting up a corridor.

He said that as of Thursday, the total number of people injured in Gaza since the start of the Israeli offensive on 8 July stood at 5,118, among them 1,561 children, 1,700 women and 203 elderly.

“The huge strains on the facilities inside Gaza, coupled with the challenges to get replenishments to those facilities, and the increasing insecurity on a daily basis is increasing the number of people who are getting injured, and they need better medical care,” he added.

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