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Middle East

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, hospital hit in attack

Article published on the 2009-01-05 Latest update 2009-01-05 17:02 TU

The remains of a mobile medical clinic in Gaza after it was bombed in an Israeli air strike(Credit: Reuters)

The remains of a mobile medical clinic in Gaza after it was bombed in an Israeli air strike
(Credit: Reuters)

With no power or water, conditions for people under siege in the Gaza Strip are getting worse, according to a number of aid organisations in the territory who are trying to cope with the growing humanitarian crisis there. Reports indicate that the parking lot of Jabaliya Hospital in the Gaza Strip was hit in an Israeli attack Monday. The hospital, located in the north of Gaza, had its windows shattered in the blast.

Reports indicate that no one was seriously hurt in the blast, but with the hospital’s windows shattered, critically ill patients are now exposed to the elements.

The hospital is running on generators, and homes have no heating. People are reportedly leaving their windows open so they will not be shattered during the bombardments by Israeli forces.

Four ambulances and three mobile clinics were also destroyed, according to witnesses.

British charity Save the Children said Monday that babies in Gaza risk hypothermia because of the low power supply and freezing temperatures.

"We need to deliver more food and blankets to ensure that children do not die of hunger and cold," Jerusalem-based Dominic Nutt from the charity said in a statement.

Save the Children reported that they have delivered food to around 6,000 of the hungriest families in Gaza, but more food and blankets are needed so children will not die of the cold.

The 1.5 million residents in Gaza have no access to water, either.

"Gaza's children, the dead and the barely living, their mothers, their fathers are not acceptable collateral damage, their lives do matter and their loss does count," said Queen Rania of Jordan as she launched an appeal for emergency humanitarian aid.

Although there has been an almost universal condemnation of the Israeli assault, and many governments have pledged food and aid for the Palestinians, access to the territory is still blocked.

The Israeli military said they agreed to let food and fuel into Gaza, but trucks have been stopped at the border because the military said that no one came to pick up the emergency supplies.

At least 555 Palestinians have died since Israel started their attacks on Gaza ten days ago.