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UN: Gaza's Medical Services on Verge of Collapse

  • VOA News

Shahed Qishtah, a nine-year-old Palestinian girl, receives medical care after she was injured in an Israeli strike while playing in northern Gaza, Kamal Adwan hospital, Beit Lahia, July 22, 2014.

Shahed Qishtah, a nine-year-old Palestinian girl, receives medical care after she was injured in an Israeli strike while playing in northern Gaza, Kamal Adwan hospital, Beit Lahia, July 22, 2014.

United Nations humanitarian officials have warned of a widespread health disaster in the Gaza Strip unless the ongoing fighting stops immediately.

The officials Saturday criticized the lack of protection for doctors and medical facilities in Gaza, saying the region's medical services are on the verge of collapse.

They say a large number of clinics and ambulances have been damaged, critical supplies of medicines are almost gone, and power cuts mean hospitals must use unreliable backup generators.

The U.N. officials say international law states that all parties in a war are obligated to protect hospitals, medical facilities and personnel and respect civilians' fundamental right to health.

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