The Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) calls on the international community and all fellow allied health professionals for support and to stand up against humanitarian crimes in Gaza.
Since the 5th of August the illegal Israeli occupying forces, escalated their humanitarian crimes, bombing civilians - mostly children- killing several and injuring hundreds already. On the 6th of August the Ministry of Health in Gaza declared a state of emergency. Recognising that they would not be able to cope with any more pressures placed on the over-burdened fragile health infrastructure.
To date, 41 people have been murdered, 15 of them children, 330 injured, 650 homes destroyed and 5,000 people displaced.
Due to the 15 year blockade, which also contravenes international laws, Gaza, the most densely populated area on earth (World Bank), is often referred to as an “open air prison”. With 50% of its population under the age of 18 years, this means that Israel has been attacking mostly children, in an area where there is no chance to escape or access essential services such as healthcare, therefore violating several human rights. Furthermore, with 1.4 million of the 2.1 million Gaza population being refugees, Israel is deliberately targeting the most vulnerable of Palestine’s population.
As a result of the blockade the people of Gaza, are subsisting on severely reduced power averaging a maximum of 6-hours a day, with many homes, hospitals and other facilities depending on unreliable generators that work intermittently. The majority of the time, they are attempting to survive on no power.
Of particular concern is the heightened vulnerability and immediate impact on the health sector. Without power, not only are emergency services either hindered or ceased completely, but so too are other essential services for chronic patients such as kidney patients needing regular dialysis treatment, which is now rendered virtually impossible.
New born premature babies are left to slowly suffocate without access to power for their life saving humidicribs necessary to support their underdeveloped lungs and bodies. Lights and power for surgery has become a ‘luxury’ for the medical professionals and people of Gaza.
This is just the latest attempt to squeeze the resilience of the people in Gaza and to push them even further to the brink. Gaza has become beyond unliveable. 16 years of restriction of movement, trade, import of fuel, medication and food has had devastating effects. Gaza has not been unscathed by downward economic pressures resulting from COVID-19, causing further damage to an already fragile economy.
Currently statistics indicate that suicide rates amongst men and youth are at an all-time high, with many people in Gaza losing all opportunities to self-determine and hope. 7 out of 10 children in Gaza have reported they suffer from mental health concerns.
Health workers in Gaza and other parts of occupied Palestine continue to be a direct target of Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and settlers, with a tear gas attack in a Hospital in East Jerusalem only last night (21st August 2020)
Under the declaration of Universal Human Rights and International Laws these acts are illegal. For 16 years the people of Gaza have been stripped of every basic human right.
PMRS calls for the international community to actively denounce the unrelenting human rights abuses and massacres occurring right now in Gaza and to work to support the people of Gaza in having access to vital emergency healthcare.