Israel and Palestine have been at opposite ends of diplomatic relations for decades and the conflict between the two nations has been going on for a very long time. On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and sending its forces into Israeli territory, to which Israel responded with massive airstrikes and punitive measures, including a siege on the enclave with supplies of water, electricity, fuel, and other necessities being cut off. The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has so far killed nearly 5,800 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and more than 1,400 people in Israel. As always, the war has had and continues to have devastating effects with loss of life and property; with continuous attacks, both Gaza and Israel have their complaints and issues. According to a Palestinian spokesperson, the medical system in the Gaza Strip has ‘collapsed completely’.
‘Total Collapse’ Of Medical System In Gaza: Palestinian Spokesperson
A Palestinian spokesman has announced the “total collapse” of the health system in the Gaza Strip due to power outage and the exhaustion of fuel needed to operate generators in hospitals. Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesman for the Gaza-based Health Ministry, told a press conference on Tuesday that Israeli attacks had so far killed 65 medical staff, destroyed 25 ambulances, and made 12 hospitals and 32 health centres in the Palestinian enclave inoperable, Xinhua news agency reported. “We fear that more (hospitals and health centres) will be out of service in the coming hours due to the attacks and running out of fuel,” said the spokesman.
Fuel Shortage In Hospitals May Kill Newborn Babies
It was reported a few days ago that many newborn premature babies are at risk due to the fuel shortage in the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. “The responsibility on us is huge,” Iyad Abu Zahar, Hospital Director of Al-Aqsa Hospital said. Doctors treating premature babies across Gaza are grappling with similar fears. At least 130 premature babies are at “grave risk” across six neonatal units, aid workers said. The dangerous fuel shortages are caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which started – along with airstrikes – after Hamas militants attacked Israeli towns on October 7. At least 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza are unable to access essential health services, and some 5,500 are due to give birth in the coming month, according to the World Health Organisation.
“If the generator stops, which we are expecting in the coming few hours due to the heavy demands of different departments in the hospital, the incubators in the intensive care unit will be in a very critical situation,” he said. Guillemette Thomas, medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in the Palestinian territories, said some of the babies could die within hours, and others in a couple of days, if they don’t receive the special care and medication they urgently need.
“It’s sure that these babies are in danger,” she told The Associated Press. “It’s a real emergency to take care of these babies, as it is an emergency to take care of the population of Gaza who are suffering from these bombings since the past two weeks.” The hospital must care for patients in northern and central Gaza since several hospitals shut down, he said, forcing it to more than double its patient capacity. That also puts a strain on the limited electricity.