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  • A monthly 300,000 liters of diesel are required to power hospitals, but with the dropping temperatures, the region is eating up its limited supply at a manic rate.

    A monthly 300,000 liters of diesel are required to power hospitals, but with the dropping temperatures, the region is eating up its limited supply at a manic rate. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 January 2019 (11 hours 18 minutes ago)

"Hundreds of patients in Gaza hospitals are under a threat of dire consequences," the health ministry said.

Gaza’s fuel crisis is putting children at risk, the federal health ministry said Sunday, warning that five hospitals are on the verge of closing without the means to activate power generators.

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"Hundreds of patients at Gaza hospitals will be facing an unknown fate when their electric generators shut down due to the fuel crisis," said Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of Gaza's health ministry.

A week ago, the Beit Hanoun hospital closed its doors in northern Gaza and now another five bordering Palestine are slated to close, the minister said.

"We are talking about hundreds of patients, among them 800 suffering kidney failure and tens of prematurely born children, more than 250 surgeries per day, and dangerous pregnancies, including 150 cesarian sections,” he said.

A monthly 300,000 liters of diesel is required to power hospitals, but with the dropping temperatures, the region is eating up its limited supply at a manic rate. Hospital managers are forced to choose between heating the hospital and keeping the lights on.

Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiyyah said, "We are threatened with losing many lives. We are facing a major crisis. In addition to medicine shortages from time to time, there is a lack of treatment and failure to be able to travel through the crossings [out of Gaza].

"This is totally against international norms and laws. The patient must feel safe in their hospital bed,” said the general director of Gaza's Al-Rantisi children's hospital.

A mother of an infant dialysis patient, Najwan al-Samouti, told Middle East Eye, “I have been coming to the Abd al-Aziz Rantisi Hospital For Children for four years for dialysis for my son, four times a week, constantly thinking and anxious about the situation. Reducing the number of weekly treatments will lead to pollution of the blood.

“Once again, the world conspires against us. Gaza remains under a continuing blockade. This is the life of the sick children put in danger. Even when electricity is available, it is not constant,” said Al-Samouti, adding that without treatment, her son will die.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is petitioning action from the Palestinian Authority to reestablish the fuel trade with Hamas officials after cutting ties with the opposition group two years ago.

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