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Gaza health services face “shutdown” within 48 hours amidst ongoing airstrikes

UPDATES: This article was updated on Sunday afternoon with new information issued by the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

This article was updated earlier on Sunday to include a statement issued Sunday afternoon by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank.

This article was updated on Saturday to include a statement issued Saturday afternoon by Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Jerusalem24 – The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip warned on Sunday afternoon that health centers and hospitals face a “shutdown” of health services within 48 hours, in the midst of ongoing Israeli airstrikes, due to unplanned electricity cuts.

Hospitals generators are running out of emergency fuel.

The Gaza electricity authority announced Saturday morning that Gaza’s lone power plant would shut down at noon due to a diesel shortage, since Israeli authorities closed the border crossings into the Gaza Strip, both for people and goods, since Tuesday.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Health Ashraf Al-Qidra said that “the coming hours will be difficult for the health system and pose a clear threat to the work of vital departments in hospitals.”

He stressed that hospitals lack many medicines, and that the health sector is “going through a worst-case scenario.”

Al-Qidra noted that Israeli authorities prevent the entry of life-saving medical material to the Strip. He also accused Israeli forces of deliberately targeting residential neighborhoods.

The spokesman said all hospital staff have been mobilized across various departments to deal with the influx of patients caused by the ongoing Israeli airstrikes.

Lynn Hastings, Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, issued a statement on Saturday afternoon expressing concern that fuel was due to run out at the power plant and that electricity had already been cut.

“The continued operation of basic service facilities such as hospitals, schools, warehouses, and designated shelters for internally displaced persons is essential and now at risk,” says Hastings. “Movement and access of humanitarian personnel, for critical medical cases, and for essential goods, including food and fuel into Gaza, must not be impeded so that humanitarian needs can be met.”

The Palestinian MoH in the West Bank issued a statement asking the international community to pressure Israel into allowing fuel to enter the Strip.

The West Bank MoH also announced it is in direct contact with health ministry teams in Gaza, and that preparations are underway to prepare a list of medicines, medical equipment and supplies that need to be brought to the Gaza Strip.

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