PMRS Appeals to the International Community on behalf of the people of Gaza

17 Nov 2012


PMRS Appeals to the International Community on Behalf of the People of Gaza


In light of Israel’s recent large scale military bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) calls on international non-governmental institutions, as well as all levels of international civil society, to act immediately to pressure Israel to stop the aggression on the people of Gaza and to allocate aid assistance and disaster relief to the Strip’s 1.6 million people.

The Gaza Strip, with a population of 1.6 million people, is known to be the most densely populated area in the world. With such a large number of people living so closely packed together, Israel’s pretext of targeted and “surgical strikes” on military targets alone are unachievable.

“The situation is extremely difficult,“ says Abdil Hadi Abu Khousa, a PMRS Member of the Board. “Every five to ten minutes there is another airstrike. We don’t know where it will land or where it will come from. The usually bustling streets are completely empty.”

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported extreme shortages in more than 165 different types of medical supplies, a shortage similarly reflected in all of PMRS’ medical clinics throughout the Strip.

“At the moment, the quantity of injuries is relatively manageable, however if they continue at this rate our hospitals will soon be over capacity,” says Dr. Ayid Yaghi, the Director of PMRS in Gaza.

The capacity of international NGOs in general, and PMRS in particular, to react and respond to devastating humanitarian crises, such as the one in Gaza is currently experiencing shortage of funding which are at an all time annual low, stemming from a decrease in monetary contributions from international donors and budget cuts due to the global economic crisis, leaving emergency response activities at a severe disadvantage.

Israeli military spokespersons have intimated that the past 24 hours of airstrikes represent just the beginning of a larger military operation, codenamed Pillar of Defense. “All options are on the table,” said Israel’s chief military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechaiand, while a simultaneous tweet from the Israeli Army Spokesperson said that, “If necessary, the Israeli Army is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza.”

“If Israel’s operation is truly just the beginning of this offensive, the already delicate health and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip will undoubtedly deteriorate to dangerous levels” said Mahmoued Brigheth the Director General of PMRS. The depleted nature of the healthcare system in Gaza and the lacking capacity of international NGOs to aid in emergency relief further exacerbate the situation.

Accordingly, PMRS calls on all international donors to allocate aid money and medical supplies to the important emergency work in Gaza Strip, as soon as possible.

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