Red Cross warns of basic services collapsing in Gaza

The international Red Cross issued a dire warning on the state of basic services in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling on Israel to lift a blockade it has imposed in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. The agency said a shipment would be allowed into Gaza later Tuesday, but said aid delivered needed to be allowed into the territory on a regular basis to prevent a complete collapse of health and sanitary services. "Deliveries of essential humanitarian goods must be secured in the long run to prevent more hardship and to avoid the collapse of the already fragile infrastructure," said Dorothea Krimitsas, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. As Israel delivered some fuel for Gaza's power plant on Tuesday, easing the blockade, Krimitsas said the situation was still very precarious, with Gaza's hospitals pooling their fuel so that live-saving services could be maintained, such as surgery and intensive care units.