January 6 2009
A growing number of wounded Palestinians in Gaza are succumbing to death because Israeli bombings have made it hard for ambulances to reach them.
“The situation is extremely dangerous and the coordination of ambulance services is very complex because of nonstop attacks and military operations,” International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman, Dorothea Krimitsas, said in Geneva.
She added, “Wounded people have died while waiting for Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances. In some other cases, ambulances cannot reach the wounded at all because of the ongoing fighting and shelling.”
Gaza’s health services are in dire need of supplies and many health workers are unable to reach their hospitals. Emergency rooms and intensive care units are overwhelmed and at least two hospitals were out of fuel for their generators.
The Red Cross has also voiced concern over water supplies in the densely populated enclave. Krimitsas said two out of the 45 wells in the Gaza Strip were out of action after having been hit during Israeli air raids, while the pumps on eight others were no longer working because of power cuts.
“Half a million people, that’s about one third of the population of the territory, are threatened with being completely deprived of water,” she said. The ICRC spokeswoman noted that technicians needed to gain access to the electrical installations damaged during the fighting.
Since Israel unleashed its air and sea campaign against Gaza on December 27, at least 555 Palestinians have lost their lives and more than 2,790 others have sustained injuries.
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