Hamas threatens Israel as Gaza COVID-19 cases surge

The ministry said that 685 new cases were detected in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours.

HAMAS MEMBERS in Gaza. (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the Gaza Strip, Hamas and other Palestinian factions on Tuesday accused Israel of “preventing” the entry of medical supplies to confront the pandemic.
The factions said they hold Israel “responsible for the repercussions of preventing” the entry of the supplies into the Gaza Strip.
The warning came as the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry announced the death of three Palestinians who were diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
The ministry said 685 new cases were detected in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours.
According to the ministry, 16,142 coronavirus infections have been detected in the Gaza Strip in the past few months. The number of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who died after contracting the virus has reached 72, the ministry added.
Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, said during a press conference with representatives of several Palestinian factions: “We hold Israel responsible for the safety of our people and for the implications of preventing the entry of health supplies to confront the coronavirus.”
Radwan added that the Palestinians “will not accept the death of the people, and all options are open if the people are exposed to danger due to the delay in the entry of the required health supplies.”
He called on the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities toward the Gaza Strip by sending medical equipment and medicine “to save the lives of critically ill patients.”
The Hamas official also called on the World Health Organization and international institutions to provide emergency aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
“Most of the areas in the Gaza Strip are classified as ‘red,’” a senior official with the Gaza-based Health Ministry said. “The disease is spreading very fast because many people are not adhering to the health regulations. We are talking about 650-1,000 new cases every day.”
The healthcare system in Gaza is near collapse due to the Israeli blockade and the rise in coronavirus cases, the WHO warned.
Abdel Nasser Soboh, emergency health coordinator in the Gaza Strip, warned that “within a week, we won’t be able to care for critical cases.”