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Gaza healthcare deteriorating due to Israeli sanctions
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12:03, February 11, 2008

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Palestinian authorities in Gaza warned on Sunday that the healthcare sector was coming to a halt due to the Israeli blockade on the coastal territory.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza "undergoes a huge crisis," said Wissam Abu Shamala, public relation director at Nasser hospital in southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.

Israel sealed off all crossing points into the impoverished enclave last June when Islamic Hamas movement took over Gaza Strip by force from the long-dominant Fatah movement, led by moderate President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abu Shamala explained that the lack of regular deliveries of medicine, food stuff, fuel and laundry made Nasser hospital unable to provide proper services to the patients.

When Israel attacks southern Gaza Strip, the hospital can not endure the relatively-high number of casualties, he said, adding that as a result, the patients are often sent to the European hospital, also in Khan Younis, or to the main hospital of al-Shifain Gaza City.

At least 90 patients have died since June for not being able to go outside Gaza to receive advanced medical care or due to the absence of drugs, according to the health ministry figures.

Source: Xinhua

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