As hospitals now face an increasingly dire situation in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has issued a number of statements in regard, in addition to further addressing the atrocities inflicted upon the people of Gaza by Israel during the holy month of the Ramadan fast.——————– Official Press Release 07/29/14

The Ministry of Health Gaza is pained to express its deep sadness and outrage at the Israeli attacks on Gaza on our holy days of Eid al-Fitr.

In the last 24 hours, 120 people have been killed, bringing the total to 1,156.

Particularly distressing was the death in Al Bureij refugee camp of Diana Abu Jaber and her unborn baby only a week before his estimated date of delivery.

Diana’s home was struck by an F-16 airstrike.

“As it collapsed a concrete pillar fell on her,” reported Dr Kamal Khatab, Medical Superintendent of Al Aqsa Hospital. “A shell ripped her abdomen open, the unborn baby fell out and was hit in the head with shrapnel, and his brain matter was extruded. Both mother and baby died immediately.”

Dr Khatab added that Diana, in her mid-twenties, was one of 19 members of the same family to die in that airstrike, and there are still other family members missing.

The entrance to the Outpatient Clinic of Shifa Hospital in Gaza city was shelled yesterday afternoon, bringing the number of attacks on medical facilities to 34. Windows in the Medical Library were shattered, an exterior wall was partially destroyed, and several trees were severely damaged. It is pure good fortune that none of the displaced people sheltering in the outpatients area, or staff working in the library, were killed or injured.

“There is a deliberate strategy of attacking to kill Palestinians in two ways – one in their homes with bombs and bullets, and the other by depriving them of essential medical services,” observed Deputy Minister of Health Dr Yousef Abu Al-Rish.

Israeli airstrikes before dawn on the sole Gaza power plant destroyed fuel tanks, and put the plant out of production. This will have an immense impact on the provision of services in Gaza’s hospitals, and significantly contribute to a looming humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip.

Despite numerous appeals by both Palestinian and international organisations to cease attacks on children and women, to cease attacks on medical facilities, and to cease attacks on civilian infrastructure
Israeli military strikes on civilian targets have not abated.

The Ministry of Health Gaza calls on the United Nations, the international community, human rights organisations, and all people of good conscience wherever they may be to act immediately to stop the genocide in Gaza.

In the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Press Release 07/29/14 ———————————————

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

Eid al fitr. The end of Ramadan, the end of the fast. New clothes, lots of sweets, family visits. Celebrations of life and love.

Not in Gaza. Instead, Israelis delivered a hefty dose of death and destruction in al-Shati Camp, splitting families and bodies alike.

Two adults and eight children killed as they rode the Ferris wheel or in a TukTuk in the park, over 40 injured, one of whom has since died.

This barbaric and deliberate attack on children in a public place on one of the two most significant Muslim holy days seals the Israeli reputation as one of the most perverse war criminals imaginable.
Many considered the calculated murder of the four children playing football on the beach on July 16, 2014 to be an atrocity and a clear war crime – nine more dead children in al-Shati’s park is an even more gross excess.

And still the international community does nothing.

How many more young lives must be stolen before the world says “Enough!”

How many more before the United Nations (UN) enforces international law without fear or favour, and demands the rogue ‘state’ of Israel comply with international law?

When will the UN impose sanctions, and an arms embargo, to prevent the Israeli enabler, the United States, from furnishing it with the tools of death? From financing the pathological Zionist expansionist project?

When will the UN expel this rogue ‘state’ from amongst its ranks – this rogue ‘state’ that claims all the benefits of UN membership but scorns each and every responsibility incumbent upon it to act with even the barest modicum of civilised behaviour or humanity?

For the United Nations to remain silent now is for it to be complicit in these war crimes.

—————————————- Press Release 07//27/14

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine


Gaza’s hospitals confront new crisis
Hospitals in Gaza are confronting a new crisis, as patients ready for discharge are unable to leave, taking up hospital beds urgently required for the incoming wounded.

The situation for many of these patients is dire: either their families have been killed or there is no-one to care for them, their homes have been destroyed, or they live in areas under Israeli orders to evacuate and are under threat of being shot if they return.

Several attacks on UNRWA schools serving as shelters for displaced persons have left these already traumatised and still-vulnerable victims too distrustful to accept them as a discharge option. In addition, the over-crowded and under-resourced conditions in the shelters are an unsuitable environment for the recuperating injured, with limited water, hygiene and electricity supplies.
Scores of such patients are in Shifa Hospital alone, and because of the specialist services it offers, they come from all governates in the Gaza Strip.

“From the human point of view we can’t force them out,” said Chief Surgeon and Medical Director of Shifa Hospital Dr Sobhi Skaik. “A patient is not just a medical problem, their social and economic aspects are also important. The medical staff are always trying to work with the patients to find solutions.”

Dr Skaik said the situation is complicated by the fact that there are often several members of the same family hospitalised, with one in the paediatric ward, one in ICU, another in the orthopaedic ward, another in neurosurgery, while other family members are camped in the hospital grounds to be near them or because their homes have been destroyed.

“The hospital grounds have become like a refugee camp,” he said. “The conditions are deteriorating, with rubbish piling up – it is quite dirty and unsanitary, and we cannot discharge our patients into those conditions.”

The Ministry of Health Gaza considers that the minimal requirements for displaced patients ready for discharge are facilities that have beds with bedcovers, water for washing, adequate toilet facilities, and food and drink. They should also be maintained to a standard of cleanliness conducive to wound healing and infection control.

The Ministry of Health Gaza calls on UNRWA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to immediately ensure the provision of dedicated and adequately-resourced “Recovery Centres” that meet the above criteria, where displaced patients ready for discharge from Gaza’s hospitals can continue to recuperate from their injuries in a safe and sanitary environment, thus releasing their hospital beds for more urgent cases.

Dr Yousef AbuAlrish, Deputy Minister of Health: +972 597 918 339

Dr Medhat Abbas, Director General, Ministry of Health: +972 599 403 547