Fuel shortages ‘catastrophic’ for devastated health services in Gaza: WHO

A severe shortage of gasoline in the Gaza Strip could have a “catastrophic” effect on the already severely damaged health services in the war-torn Palestinian territory, the head of the World Health Organization has warned.

Since Hamas’s deadly attack inside Israel on October 7 that started the present war, the beleaguered Palestinian area has been under relentless Israeli bombing, leading to dire fuel shortages.

“Further disruption to health services is imminent in Gaza due to a severe lack of fuel,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said late Thursday on X, formerly Twitter.

Just 90,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza on Wednesday, despite the fact that the health sector alone need 80,000 liters per day, the UN health agency said.

Tedros stated that the WHO and its collaborators operating in Gaza are being forced “to make impossible choices” because of this.

Everything that enters Gaza is under Israeli supervision, and it is totally blocked off.

Fuel, which has proven particularly difficult to bring in because of Israeli concerns that it would aid Hamas fighters, is essential to the operation of emergency and relief vehicles as well as hospital generators.

WHO said that its partners were currently directing limited fuel supplies to “key hospitals”, including the Nasser Medical Complex and Al Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis and the Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah.

Additionally, fuel was being sent to 21 ambulances operated by the Palestinian Red Crescent, according to Tedros, “to prevent services from grinding to a halt”.

Noting that Khan Yunis’ European Gaza Hospital had not been operating since Tuesday, he issued a dire warning, saying that “losing more hospitals in the Strip would be catastrophic.”

An AFP calculation based on Israeli numbers shows that 1,195 people, largely civilians, died as a result of Hamas’s October 7 attack that set off Gaza’s worst war.

In addition, 251 captives were taken by Hamas; 116 of whom are still in Gaza, 42 of whom the military claims are dead.

Figures from the health ministry of the Hamas-run area show that at least 38,011 individuals have died as a result of Israel’s retaliatory attack, the majority of them were civilians.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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