Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gaza lives being put at risk

Report, PCHR, 14 May 2008

(Palestine Center for Human Rights)

"As the grueling Gaza fuel crisis continues, so does the strain on local public transport services, including ambulances, across the Gaza Strip. Approximately 15 percent of local public services are operating across Gaza, whilst up to 90 percent of private cars remain off the roads, and all of Gaza's 450 fuel stations remain closed.

For ambulance drivers, the situation is particularly fraught, as demands for their services have soared over the last two months due to an almost complete lack of alternative transport to hospitals. The city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, has a total of 15 ambulances serving a population of more than 175,000 people. At the local headquarters of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), ambulance drivers say the fuel crisis is making their work difficult and miserable. Fawzi Abdul Hadi is head of the Rafah PRCS Ambulance Service, and says the fuel crisis is severely affecting the delivery of health services across southern Gaza. "We are managing to keep our ambulances on the roads, but we've been forced to limit our movements, and now we can respond only to urgent cases," he says......"

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