Severe fuel shortage leads to closure of 5 hospitals in Gaza: official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-20 21:43:01|Editor: mmm
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GAZA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian health officials in Gaza Sunday warned of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe after five major hospitals in the Gaza Strip stopped working due to a severe shortage of fuel.

Mohamad Abu Selmeya, director of Al-Rantisi Children's Hospital for cancer patients in Gaza, told a news conference that his hospital suffers from a severe fuel shortage that disabled the hospital to generate the electricity.

"This would certainly have a disastrous impact on the health services that we provide to the patients," said Abu Selmeya.

The shortage of electricity in the Gaza Strip has been ongoing since 2006.

"Stopping medical services in these hospitals deprives thousands of patients of getting daily medical services all over the Gaza Strip," he added.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza had issued an urgent appeal to all those concerned on "the need to get out of the state of silence and take serious steps to solve the crisis and protect the rights of treatment of patients" in the Gaza Strip.

The ministry needs about 300,000 liters of fuel per day to be distributed to 13 hospitals and 53 primary care centers in the impoverished enclave.

The ministry announced on Thursday that Beit Hanoun hospital, which provides services to some 340,000 Palestinians in northern Gaza Strip, has stopped providing services due to the acute fuel crisis.

The Gaza Strip suffers from a deficit in its electricity supply needs, forcing the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company to rely on a schedule of eight hours of electricity.

Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, home to nearly 2 million people since mid-2007 after Hamas violent takeover of the enclave following rounds of internal fighting with forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority.