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An emergency phone line for the elderly and lonely in the South who are suffering from anxiety due to the security situation have been invited to call for help.
Organized by the Etgar Group, the line will be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 1-599-550-100. Relatives will be contacted and places to stay in the center of the country will be arranged.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced that the four health funds have set up information services on their Web sites and by phone: Clalit Health Services at *2700, Maccabi Health Services at *3555, Meuhedet at *3833 and Leumit at 1-700-507507.
In addition, the ministry said stress treatment centers had been set up in Sderot, the Eshkol Region, the Sdot Negev Region, Netivot, Ashkelon north, Sha'ar Hanegev, Ashdod and Ofakim.
The Shahal heart monitoring company has instituted a phone line for free consultations with cardiologists by people in the South who had a heart attack in the past or are at high risk for one. They can call anytime to 1-800-535353.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak to open the Erez crossing to the northern Strip so that Palestinian civilians who are in critical condition at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital can reach treatment in Israel. Most of these cannot survive the trip to Egyptian hospitals, the voluntary organization said. One is a seven-year-old boy with Down's syndrome in Shifa's intensive care unit who has not been able to contact his family.
Meanwhile, personnel of the International Committee for the Red Cross in Gaza report that the civilian population is living in fear as IAF attacks continue. Civilian casualties, including children, continue to arrive in local hospitals.
Gaza hospitals reported to the Red Cross that they had admitted 1,266 injured persons by mid-day Monday. On Tuesday, it brought six trucks into Gaza carrying drugs and disposable materials provided by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, spare parts for ambulances and for medical equipment such as blood-pressure machines, heart-rate monitors, patient ventilators, plastic sheeting and food parcels.