Report: “176 residents, including 40 children, killed; 872 injured since June 27”

In a detailed report on the Israeli military violations and attacks against the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that Israeli soldiers have killed 176 residents, including 40 children, and injured 872, including 272 children, since Israel declared its “Summer Rains” offensive in the Gaza Strip on June 27.

During the period between June 27 and July 31, Israeli soldiers shot and injured 172 residents in the West Bank and 520 in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip reported that most of the injured residents suffered serious injuries and that dozens lost parts of their bodies and suffered first degree burns, including burns to their inner body parts, especially the intestines and spleen.

The shells used by the Israeli army also included radiation that causes deformation of the skin, the ministry added.

24.4% of the casualties were killed by rounds of live ammunition, and 33.8% were killed by missiles fired by the army, while the rest were killed by tank shells and artillery fire.

The bodies of 22.0% of the killed residents were severely mutilated. 14.2% were directly hit in the chest of head. 55.9% were hit in several parts of their bodies.

35 children were killed in the Gaza Strip, and 174 were injured.  In the West Bank, 54 children were injured by Israeli military fire.

13 women were killed in the Gaza Strip, among them 7 children, while 53 women were injured in the Gaza Strip and 53 in the West Bank.
 
The ministry also reported that soldiers repeatedly targeted ambulance crews and ambulances both with tank shells and with rounds of live ammunition, and barred them from reaching the injured and killed in a number of instances.

23 ambulances that belong to the Ministry of Health and the Red Crescent were fired at and sustained damage.  In many cases, Israeli soldiers abducted the bodies of those killed, even attacking ambulances in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in order to abduct the bodies.  Four medics have been injured, and one nurse was killed. The medic who was killed is from Nablus, in the West Bank.   

Also, soldiers surrounded three hospitals and clinics, demolished the walls that surround them, and broke into the Ministry of Health in Nablus, using it as a military post.

Five Palestinian residents died at the Rafah Border crossing between Egypt and Gaza after they were trapped there for three weeks following an Israeli decision to close the border, leaving the thousands of people who were at the border trapped at the terminal, unable to return to Egypt and unable to enter Gaza.  Among the residents who died at the crossing were a 19-year old woman and an 18-month old infant.

Moreover, the Israeli attacks against power plants left at least 200,000 families in Gaza without electricity, while hospitals are running on generators.  Due to the Israeli closure of all of Gaza’s borders (which are under Israeli control), the hospitals have had great difficulty importing fuel for the generators, and a fuel shortage is threatening an even greater catastrophe in Gaza.

Families who have power, in other parts of the Gaza Strip, are having to ‘take shifts’, with each area receiving power for only a few hours each day.      

Also, hospitals have had to delay dozens of surgeries as a result of the shortage of medications, tools and equipment needed in surgeries, in addition to power failure.

The ministry reported that it needs 30.000 liters of fuel to power the generators in the Gaza Strip in order to provide electricity for its institutions, especially the hospitals.  Fuel will run out in the Gaza Strip within a week.  After this period, hospitals will be unable to run any electrical equipment, including equipment used in surgery rooms and intensive care units.

Medications requiring refrigeration, including vaccines for infants and children, have become unusable as a result of power failure.  Blood banks are also without refrigeration, lacking power.

A water shortage, unsanitary conditions due to piled-up trash (Gaza has been unable to carry out trash pickup due to closures), and the damaged sewer systems are also threatening factors to hospitals, medical centers, and the health of the population at large.  Different types of infections have begun spreading in the population, at a time when the hospitals are running out of medications.
 
Patients who need a continuous oxygen supply, and those who suffer from Asthma, Kidney failure, heart diseases, epilepsy, and hemorrhages, are facing serious health risks.

The Ministry added that Israeli soldiers have also killed four handicapped residents in the Gaza Strip during the “Summer Rains” offensive.

The Ministry also held Israel responsible for the death of the civilians in the Gaza Strip and appealed to the international community to intervene in order to stop the Israeli violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights and to demand Israel’s adherence to the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The Ministry of Health Report slammed the inaction of the international community in regards to the ongoing Israeli crimes in Gaza, considering this as a factor that has encouraged the Israeli army to carry out even more violations and attacks against the Palestinian people and their government.

“Israel does not care about international law.  The actions of the Israeli military show that Israel does not respect the principles of Human Rights, it does not respect human dignity and continues to kill innocent civilians, children, woman and elderly. The Israeli military continues to shell civilian houses, hospitals, ambulances and educational facilities”.

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