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Stop the collapse of healthcare in Gaza

Stop the collapse of healthcare in Gaza

After a decade of suffocating closure, Gaza is suffering its worst humanitarian crisis since Israel’s devastating 2014 offensive. Chronic electricity shortages have forced hospitals to rely on backup generators for most of the day, fuel for which is rapidly running out in Gaza.

In Gaza, 19 healthcare centres, including three hospitals, have been forced to reduce to just basic and emergency services as they don’t have enough fuel to keep generators running. The UN has warned that Gaza is on the “verge of disaster”, with emergency fuel set to run out in weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO ...

After a decade of suffocating closure, Gaza is suffering its worst humanitarian crisis since Israel’s devastating 2014 offensive. Chronic electricity shortages have forced hospitals to rely on backup generators for most of the day, fuel for which is rapidly running out in Gaza.

In Gaza, 19 healthcare centres, including three hospitals, have been forced to reduce to just basic and emergency services as they don’t have enough fuel to keep generators running. The UN has warned that Gaza is on the “verge of disaster”, with emergency fuel set to run out in weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the lives of 113 new-borns and 100 additional patients in intensive care units will be immediately threatened if funding for fuel is not secured. Though the UAE and Qatar have pledged funds for fuel, this will only be a temporary stopgap for a chronic problem.

At the same time, 40% of essential drugs have completely run out in Gaza, and patients needing medical treatment such as radiotherapy or surgery in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, or abroad are routinely prevented from exiting Gaza by Israeli authorities. Last year, only 54% of all permits to exit Gaza were approved by Israel in time for patients to get to care. This is the lowest rate of permit approvals ever recorded, and far below the 92% rate of approvals recorded in 2012. 54 people died while awaiting these permits in 2017, many of them cancer patients. Health services are further threatened by the US’ cut to its funding for UNRWA, which provides primary healthcare to the two-thirds of Gaza’s residents who are refugees.

Without immediate humanitarian action by the international community, Gaza’s health system will collapse and patients will die. The UK Government must play its part now, by helping to fund fuel to keep hospitals running.

The UK must also seek sustainable solutions to this protracted crisis by helping bring Gaza’s closure, deemed to be “a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law” by the International Committee of the Red Cross, to an end.

Please email your MP today, and ask them to urge the UK government to take action and save lives in Gaza.

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