From the news desk

Islamic Relief assists with medical crisis in Gaza

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As paramedics and medical workers struggle to keep up with the extent of injuries in Gaza, Islamic Relief is urgently procuring life-saving medical supplies to support hospitals in the blockaded coastal enclave. Gaza is being pushed to breaking point as doctors and aid workers treat the victims of the brutal violence during the Great Return Marches. Hospitals in #Gaza are overwhelmed and medical staff is not able to provide full treatment. The humanitarian situation is critical due to the blockade and lack of adequate basic services.

Over 60 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli gunfire over the past few days, including an eight month-old baby, and more than 2,700 people have been injured. The victims have been involved in  largely peaceful protests near the Israeli border which have come under fire.

“There is an urgent need for more ambulances, emergency medical aid and qualified staff to treat
patients,” says Muneeb Abu-Ghazaleh, Islamic Relief’s Head of Mission in Gaza.

“With limited  supplies and little support, hospitals are at breaking point and really struggling to cope. We have  visited hospitals where treatments are taking place on the floor, administered by medical volunteers
rather than fully qualified staff. At least $10m worth of medical aid is needed to ensure that people
are properly treated for their wounds.”

The current medical emergency has added to the challenges facing the people of Gaza in the run-up
to the holy month of Ramadan. Levels of poverty are increasing, with a lack of employment
opportunities and basic services compounded by the effects of a long-term blockade that limits
movements of people and goods. Now Gaza’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and medical staff are only
able to stabilise the majority of those coming in injured as shortages mean patients cannot receive a
full course of treatment.

The recent demonstrations in Gaza, which are protected by an international freedom to engage in
peaceful protest, are the culmination of frustration at being blockaded from the outside world. The
deteriorating humanitarian situation could be eased by lifting the blockade and allowing more
essential supplies in.

The UN has warned that Gaza is on the verge of total collapse, and the UN Secretary-General’s
condemnation of Israel’s response to the protests has been echoed in concerns expressed by the
European Union and the UK, French and Canadian governments. A wide range of voices
internationally have called for respect to be given for the right to peaceful protest and the principle
of proportionality in the use of force.

“Islamic Relief’s usual focus is on children, youth, and the most vulnerable households,” says
Muneeb Abu-Ghazaleh.

“But in an emergency like this we have to prioritise our efforts towards the
health of those affected.

The easing of the blockade could improve the situation dramatically, helping lives to be rebuilt
through employment, education and trade. Medical supplies are not covered by the blockade so we
can procure them easily but we really need additional funds to do so.”

Islamic Relief South Africa (IRSA) has launched the Gaza Emergency Appeal to raise funds for muchneeded
medical supplies and to support ongoing aid efforts in the region.

Donations towards the Gaza Emergency Appeal can be made online at
General Bank deposits (Lillah, Sadaqah) can be made to Islamic Relief SA, Standard Bank, Account
Number 005318459, Savings Account, Fordsburg Branch, Branch Code 005205, Reference: GAZ18 &
contact number.

For Zakat contributions, use the following bank account details: Islamic Relief SA, First National Bank,
Account number 62161066933, Cheque Account, Smith Street Branch, Branch code 221426,
Reference: GAZ18 & contact number

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