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Power cut to hospitals in Gaza for 8-12 hours a day

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 13 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:580
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

The economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza is worse now than at any time since Israel occupied the area in 1967, claims a report by eight leading charities that calls for direct negotiations with Hamas and an end to Israel’s “blockade policy.”

The report was published on the day a seminary in Jerusalem was attacked, killing eight people. Early reports suggested the killer acted alone, but later several Palestinian and Lebanese organisations claimed responsibility, including Hamas.

The report also followed two incursions by Israeli armed forces into Gaza that killed about 120 people. One Israeli air attack last week destroyed a clinic and medical equipment maintained in Gaza city by Oxfam, one of the charities that compiled the report.

The charities’ report about conditions in Gaza said that hospitals are without electricity, and the number of patients allowed to leave Gaza for treatment has steadily declined. The other charities that compiled the report were Amnesty International, Save the Children UK, Care International UK, Christian Aid, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Médecins du Monde UK, and the Irish development charity Trócaire.

“The Gaza …

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