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A friend of Palestinian woman Amal Al-Taramsi grieves during her funeral in Gaza City January 12, 2019. .(Photo by: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)
Gaza Health Ministry warns of hospital shutdowns due to fuel crisis
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
01/16/2019
The source of the current fuel crisis is unclear; the ministry hinted that there was a shortage in donor funds.
Gaza hospitals are in danger of shutting down due to a fuel crisis, in particular the hospital in Beit Hanoun, the Gaza Health Ministry warned on Tuesday in an English language post on its Facebook page.

“In an unprecedented and rapid tragedy, the fuel crisis in hospitals and primary care centers continues to hit critical levels,” it said.

The crisis threatens 13 hospitals and 53 primary care centers, the Health Ministry said in a dramatic video it posted.

Gaza has a chronic electricity crisis and operates on only about ten to twelve hours of electricity a day. As a result, its hospitals run on generators so that there will be a continual flow of electricity.

But those generators need fuel operate.
“Today, few hours left for the beginning of interruption of the services in Beit Hanoun Hospital due to the shortage of fuel required to operate the generators, which means depriving 350,000 people of the service and health care [we provide],” the hospital said.

The absence of fuel will force a postponement of “surgical operations, laboratory tests, blood tests, and suspending [of] the work of the Radiology Department and supportive services, such as laundry and sterilization.”

The Health Ministry’s warning comes as the Gaza electricity situation was presumed to be stabilized and improved compared to last year, when there was electricity for only four to six hours a day.

The electricity supply increased late last year when Qatar began to fund fuel shipments into Gaza, a move which doubled the supply of electricity in the Hamas-run enclave that is home to 2 million Palestinians.

The source of the current fuel crisis is unclear. The Gaza Health Ministry hinted that there was a shortage in donor funds.
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