Tensions have risen both in Israel and in Gaza over the past few weeks. Dozens upon dozens of attacks have been launched with each side firing back. As part of restricting export and imports, Israeli authorities have prohibited fuel from entering Gaza since last Monday. The act is in response to flammable kites sent into Israel from Gaza which cause lots of property damage.
The lack of fuel in Gaza has posed a big issue for Gazan hospitals which now can’t run on full electrocity. Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jamie McGoldrick, said that “At least one hospital has been forced to shut down for a few hours, and services are being dramatically reduced at others.” The United Nations also reported that “given ongoing blackouts of about 20 hours a day, if fuel does not come in immediately, people’s lives will be at stake, with the most vulnerable patients, like cardiac patients, those on dialysis, and newborns in intensive care, at highest risk.”
With the current state of Gaza’s fuel, it’s expected it will run out in early August. Mr. McGoldrick urged Israel to stop the restriction of fuel into Gaza. He also called out to donors to provide emergency funding so the hospitals can continue to operate. Al Quds Hospital gives life-saving treatments to 150,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization. These people are treated with major surgeries, and intensive care. If the situation remains the way it is, these treatments will have to halt. Many surgeries have already been postponed due to the lack of ability to perform them.
By the middle of this week, four more hospitals in Gaza are expected to be forced to shut down. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has ordered hospitals to reduce “diagnostic, sterilization and cleaning services, increasing the risk of infections amongst patients,” according to UN.org. Currently, over 2,000 patients in Gaza use electrical devices such as neonates and incubators. These patients are at the highest risk.
Israel has responded stating that their actions are due to Gaza’s instigation in firing rockets into Israel. Israel has yet to fire rockets into Gaza without Gaza first firing.