Since Saturday, Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed at least 325 people, including civilians and children, according to a wide range of sources. The attacks have left more than 1,400 people wounded, medical facilities wholly unable to respond to the crisis and desperate shortages of fuel, food and medicine.
CARE International has responded swiftly to the growing catastrophe, starting on December 27, the day the attack began, with provisions of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals that were in short supply. CARE, along with its partner the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, intends to continue providing emergency medical supplies and winterization equipment like heaters, blankets, and window coverings to families who have had their homes damaged in the bombing. Contributions to help continue this work can be made through the CARE.org website and should be sent with a note that the funds are for CARE Gaza emergency response.
Gaza’s people were already vulnerable and its institutions and infrastructure fragile as a result of more than a year of economic blockade in response to Hamas’ aggression against Israel. The blockade has denied the Strip fuel, spare parts, building materials, cash, agricultural inputs, medical supplies, or equipment. In particular, the health system has been hard hit by increased demand and an inability to secure supplies or to repair or replace equipment.
On Saturday, medical teams from the Medecins sans Frontieres evaluated the needs of the main medical structures in Gaza, in particular Kemal Edwan hospital in the north and Shifa Hospital, the area’s main referral hospital, and found them completely inadequate to the task at hand.
Since July 2007, MSF has been providing post-operative care and physiotherapy to hundreds of people wounded by fighting in the Gaza Strip. In March 2008 a pediatric clinic was opened in Gaza for children under 12 years of age.
Today, a team of three MSF doctors and nurses is working in Shifa Hospital, helping with the triage of wounded and–depending on the security situation–using the MSF ambulance to refer cases to the MSF clinic. Click here to help support this work and hope that calls from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and numerous world leaders for an immediate cease-fire will soon be heeded. No matter your views on Israel and Palestine, it’s absolutely insane, in my view, for anyone to think that Israel can successfully bomb its way to peace and security.