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Gaza: lack of fuel puts thousands of patients at risk

29-03-2012 News Release 12/60

Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is preparing to supply the Ministry of Health in Gaza with 150,000 litres of diesel.

The fuel will help 13 public hospitals maintain essential health services for the next 10 days.

The organization delivered a similar amount of fuel for Gaza hospitals in February.

"More than a month has passed since the fuel and electricity crisis began. The current failure to ensure delivery of fuel and electricity could rapidly lead to interruptions in vital public services such as hospital care and water supply, putting the lives of thousands of patients in danger," said Juan-Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation for Israel and the occupied territories. "We have already warned that in the event of any such disruption, hospital operating theatres and specialist units, such as those providing intensive care, neonatal care and haemodialysis, would be especially hard hit."

Immediate action must be taken by all authorities concerned to prevent a further deterioration of the situation and find a lasting solution to the problem. The potential humanitarian consequences of a prolonged crisis should outweigh any political considerations.

For further information, please contact:
Cecilia Goin, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 50
Nadia Dibsy, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 48
Ran Goldstein, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel: +972 52 275 75 17
Ayman Alshehabi, ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 599 60 30 15
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57