Gaza Update: The Hospitals Are Full and More

Latest reports are that Israeli air attacks on Gaza have started up again, with another 10 already killed this evening according to CNN. These new casualties will further impact the already overwhelmed medical resources of the strip. Earlier today Allegra Pacheco, deputy head of the UN humanitarian office in the occupied Palestinian territory, reported to UN radio:

ALLEGRA: What we see on the ground is that more and more of the attacks are killing and injuring civilians. It's very hard for civilians not be injured or even killed when the buildings they are living (in) or their residencies are right next to a target. We're talking about some very powerful type of weaponry that, again, may hit its target but there are the after effects in the surrounding areas. For example, our offices today were quite badly damaged from an air strike that targeted another building, but it also damaged our cars, our offices, and now we won't be able to use our offices.

SAMIR: Will you update us on the humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip?

ALLEGRA: This is a situation that is compounded by an already difficult situation that has been going on since the blockade was imposed more than a year ago. There are shortages of electricity-most people are only getting electricity for about five, six hours a day. Running water is available for 60 per cent of the population once every five to seven days. There are long lines for bread, and the medical situation, the Israelis have opened the crossings in the last few days to get medical supplies in but there were shortages of several pharmaceuticals and some emergency kits in the hospitals as well as one of the key humanitarian concerns is the shortage of different kinds of fuel that are needed in the Gaza Strip. One is an industrial fuel to power the Gaza electric plant. There's also fuel for cooking gas; there's a shortage of that so people cannot cook at home. And then fuel for diesel to operate all the back-up generators that are used when the power outages occur, especially the hospitals. Many of the hospitals are running on back-up generators.

I have also just received the following update via email from Sameh Habeeb, a Gazan journalist and peace activist whose blog Gaza Today is a very good resource.

Sameh begins by noting that the “Humanitarian situation is still suffocating and no longer people are getting bread nor gas nor power.”

He then reports that as of this afternoon:

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