Humanitarian workers: Gaza cannot sustain another invasion

Dina Ezzat , Saturday 25 Dec 2010

Intensifying Israeli military attacks on Gaza "could be catastrophic" due to poorly equipped hospitals

Rubble house
A Palestinian policeman checks the damage of a house, now leveled with the ground, that was destroyed during an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, 21 December 2010. (AP)

The hospitals of Gaza are in very poor shape already and cannot put up with the emergency situation of another Israeli military invasion, like the Cast Lead war of 2008, or even sustained attacks as during the past few days. This is the assessment of international humanitarian workers in Gaza.

Speaking to Al-Ahram Online on condition of anonymity, humanitarian workers said hospitals in Gaza are very short on basic medical supplies, medical machines and their spare parts, "because of the Israeli blockade".

The warning came against the backdrop of increased Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip which Israel has put under escalated siege for the past decade – with the blockade reaching its most devastating effect as of 2007.

Two years after the three-week Cast Lead War and six months after Israeli promises to move towards easing the blockade on Gaza, the international humanitarian workers said, the Strip is in terrible shape.

 "What would another war mean? It means massive destruction; a catastrophe," said one humanitarian worker.

 Recent reports on the situation in Gaza, including "Dashed Hopes" that was issued by several international humanitarian organizations warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is in decline on all levels, and requested an immediate end to the siege Israel is imposing on the impoverished Gaza Strip.

 The report warned of the massive humanitarian consequences for the lives of 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza under siege. "As it is, the situation is really bad; so to think of another war or another series of strikes is simply disastrous," stressed another humanitarian worker.

Organisations working in Gaza monitor the increased volume of military activities along the borders between Israel and the besieged Strip.

 "It is clear that Israel is either planning an attack that would be long and harsh or is at least planning to keep up its recent strikes," said one Gaza-based international humanitarian worker. He added, "the world must put pressure on Israel to deter it from another war on Gaza but this is not happening and there is no week that passes by without Palestinians in Gaza being killed by the Israeli attacks."

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