GAZA HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE 27.12.2008-18.01.2009

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009

Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009
from PRCS

This report covers the period of 12/01/2009 (09:00am) till 13/01/2009 (09:00am)

For the 17th consecutive day of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, PRCS is still at its highest level of alert in the occupied Gaza strip.

Today the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),
Jakob Kellenberger, visited both Al Shifa hospital and PRCS Al Quds hospital in Gaza City and witnesses at first hand the humanitarian situation in Gaza. PRCS officials in Gaza accompanied Mr. Kellenberger and brief him on the humanitarian situation in general and the PRCS' challenges in particular.

The ICRC surgical team in Al Shifa Hospital confirms a rise in the number of casualties among children arriving at the emergency room. PRCS is deeply concerned over the continuous suffering of civilians particularly women, children, elderly and those with special needs, who lost their protection and human dignity by the current Israeli army aggression on Gaza strip.

" There is a large number of wounded, which so far exceeded 4000, … we expect to have tens of cases of physical disabilities due to the fact that many injuries have lost their higher or lower limbs, in addition to many palsy and hearing impaired cases resulted from the heavy explosions... Moreover, we expect to have cases of language and speech problems resulting from trauma and psychological problems… All of these require a long-term medical treatment, rehabilitation and psychosocial interventions". Mr. Rabah Jaber, PRCS' director of Rehabilitation department, said.

The Israeli army's is targeting medical missions continuously, and hampering its access to casualties. Thus PRCS medical teams could not respond to the tens of calls that they received from the people in need.

Yesterday, one medical personnel from the military medical services was killed and another was injured due to Israeli army airstrike in Jabaliya.

According to MOH sources the Israeli tanks shelled today Mohammad Al Durra hospital while 8 patients and medical staff were inside. The shelling caused the damage of the front wall, the front entrance, the western side of the building, the nursing station, the second floor in addition to the water pipelines, fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Moreover, the Israeli missiles destroyed the clinic of Dan Church Aid's Partner (NECC: Near East Council of Churches) in Al-Shuja'ia area.

Yesterday, PRCS medical teams, with previous coordination through ICRC while trying to access A Zaytoun area were faced by soldiers throwing stun grenade. The team succeeded in evacuating two injuries and two deaths. Another team that tried to access Hujr Al Diek area with previous coordination through ICRC was faced with fire shooting, no injuries was reported. In the case of accessing Al Tuffah area the PRCS team evacuated one death and one injury.

Today, PRCS requested coordination for access to four areas; only one coordination request was approved by the military and that was Al Sheikh Ajleen area to transport a woman in labor.

The health and environmental situation in Gaza Strip is alarming. Many wounded people are dying as a result of not accessing urgent medical attention. Many dead bodies are still scattered in the streets and under the rubbles of the destroyed houses in most of the affected areas. The inability of the medical teams to evacuate the dead led to the decomposition of bodies due to the fact that the medical teams are not able to enter these areas, despite ICRC coordination.

Casualties :

PRCS remains extremely concerned over the number of death and injuries among civilians, including children and women, and considers the Israeli army excessive use of force as flagrantly violation of the principle of proportionality.

During the past 24 hours, the PRCS ambulances and medical teams were dispatched to tens of locations, where Israeli army conducted air strikes, land and see bombardments. According to PRCS records, 33 deaths, including 6 children and 3 women, in addition to 172 injuries were transported using PRCS ambulances and medical teams.

Table of the total number of casualties:

Total number of Deaths 920
Children 256
Women 113
Men & Elderly 551

Total number of injuries 4350
Children 1500
Women 600
Men & Elderly 2250

Please note that the casualties' numbers above are not final since there any unknown number of casualties in areas that the medical teams could not enter till the moment.

Total number of deaths and injuries served by PRCS medical teams and ambulances:
Deaths 604
Injuries 2172

Situation in Gaza hospitals:

All Gaza hospitals continue to partially work on back-up generators. According to ICRC sources most of the hospitals in Gaza Strip, though, continue to run on generators 24 hours a day to keep life-saving equipment operating around the clock. Al Shifa Hospital is running low on fuel, putting treatment of 470 patients at risk, including 60 presently taken care of at the intensive care unit.

Gaza Strip hospitals and medical premises suffer severe shortages of medical supplies and are not equipped enough to receive mass casualties. Hospital Operating Rooms are overflowing, and running out of essential medicines. Hospitals and other medical facilities are also understaffed and not able to respond to the load of injuries. Hospitals were being overwhelmed with patients and were running out of space and supplies.

Palestine Red Crescent Intervention:

According to the PRCS EMS stations records, approximately 2172 injuries and 604 fatalities were transported by the PRCS ambulances since the beginning of the military operation.

PRCS distributed 280 family water kits and 204 bottles of water to Al Quds, Al Shifa, Al Wia'am, Patient's fiends, Al Awda, and Al Wafa hospitals.

PRCS assisted 32 Palestinian families (112 persons) who left there homes for safety.

According to MOH sources, 42 injured were transported from Gaza hospitals to Rafah border during the last 24 hours. Six of the injuries will be treated in Saudi Arabian hospitals and 34 others in the Egyptian hospitals. PRCS ICU ambulances were allocated to assist in transporting wounded cases from the hospitals to the Rafah border.
Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, around 200 PRCS volunteers, 60 medics and 120 medical staff were actively involved in providing emergency care in Gaza Strip.

PRCS' challenges:

PRCS evacuated some of its premises for safety reasons. Since eleven days, PRCS EMS station in Jabaliya has been evacuated for safety reasons.
In the early morning, the PRCS EMS station in Gaza was not able to function during the Israeli army's military operation near the area.
Although PRCS is doing all necessary coordination through ICRC to allow the ambulances and the medical teams access some locations, but access is still viewed to be a major bearer, which is believed to cause more deaths.
PRCS faces a problem in the communication networks particularly in the northern part of Gaza Strip. In addition, PRCS EMS stations in Gaza faces the cut of telephone network, affecting the respond of the 101 to people's calls. An alternative line was organized, and the PRCS calls upon the people in Gaza city to contact the PRCS operations room in Gaza and PRCS Al Quds hospital if there is any emergency.

Urgent needs:

PRCS medical facilities in Gaza Strip need disposables, medicine, medical equipments, Humanitarian aid, relief items, food, water, fuel etc…for more information on the PRCS urgent needs please see the Preliminary PRCS Emergency Appeal 2009- Gaza Strip at the following link:

Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009
from PRCS

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