Calls grow to end fuel crisis in blockaded Gaza

Published 22.01.2019 00:17

As part of growing warnings over a possible health crisis in the Gaza Strip under the Israeli blockade, Gaza's Health Ministry warned that a continued shortage of fuel would lead to five hospitals becoming non-operational in the near future.

In a written statement, the ministry also warned that the ongoing fuel crisis would cause an unprecedented health and human crisis in the besieged Gaza, as reported by Anadolu Agency (AA). The statement called on all relevant institutions to take action to resolve the fuel crisis in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Last week, Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman, warned that generators would stop in the coming days, threatening the lives of 800 patients with renal failure who are dependent on dialysis machines. Generators are used in Gaza during the hours when there is no general electricity supply. The electricity situation has improved since October when the first pair of fuel-loaded trucks entered blockaded Gaza from Israel through Kerem Shalom, Gaza's prime commercial crossing point and the only one with Israel.

The truck that entered Gaza brought the first delivery out of a $60 million fuel donation by Qatar meant to provide the power plant with enough fuel to operate for six months, local sources said, Reuters reported. Fuel for generators at public hospitals, however, is funded by the World Health Organization (WHO), and Hamas says it does not have enough. Home to more than 2 million people, the Gaza Strip, which continues to groan under an Israeli siege, has struggled with severe electricity shortages since 2006.

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