News / Middle East

WHO Calls for Humanitarian Corridor to Transport Gaza's Wounded

A Palestinian man carries a child, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, into the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, July 24, 2014.
A Palestinian man carries a child, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, into the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, July 24, 2014.
Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization is calling for a humanitarian corridor in Gaza to transport the wounded for urgent treatment to medical facilities outside the conflict zone.

WHO suggests that the emergency medical facilities be located at crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Israel as well as neighboring Egypt and Jordan.  

Gaza cannot cope with the increasingly large number of people needing urgent medical care, according to the U.N. health agency, adding that hospitals, clinics and ambulances are being damaged, destroyed or rendered useless each day.

The number of civilian casualties from this conflict is increasing at an alarming rate, says WHO spokesman Paul Garwood.

The latest reports show more than 5,100 people have been injured since the fighting began more than two weeks ago, including 1,560 children and 1,700 women.

​“This is behind the call for this humanitarian corridor ... because of the huge strains in the health facilities inside Gaza, coupled with the challenges to get replenishments to those facilities," Garwood said. "And the increasing insecurity on a daily basis is just increasing the number of people who are getting injured. They need better medical care."

  • Palestinian medics treat a child wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, July 24, 2014.
  • Shahed Qishtah, a nine-year-old Palestinian girl, receives medical care at an emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia after she was injured in an Israeli strike while playing on July 22, 2014 in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Palestinian children, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on the floor at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, July 24, 2014.
  • A Palestinian woman holds an infant, whom medics said was injured in an Israeli shelling at a U.N-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees, at a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip July 24, 2014.
  • A medic helps a Palestinian in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which was heavily shelled by Israel during fighting, in Gaza City July 20, 2014.
  • Patients are treated in Shifa hospital in Gaza City, July 18, 2014.
  • Patients lie in their beds on the ground floor of al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital after being evacuated from the fourth floor, which police said was hit by a tank shell fired by Israeli troops, in the east of Gaza City July 16, 2014.

WHO reports that four hospitals, 12 clinics, 10 ambulances and a specialized center for the disabled have been damaged. Surgical wards have been put out of service and all functioning health facilities are suffering severe shortages of supplies, particularly for surgical practices.

The U.N. health agency says a humanitarian corridor would facilitate the delivery of such supplies and possibly provide a medical failsafe should intensification of the conflict lead Gaza’s health care system to collapse.

Garwood says health professionals inside Gaza are overburdened and working under insecure conditions where ambulance drivers have come under fire and many patients are unable to reach health care centers.

“We are seeing major issues with diminishing supplies of electricity, concerns around the quality of water, and according to the Palestinian Water Authority, 95 percent of the water sources in Gaza are not suitable for human consumption," he added. "This is water that also is made available to hospitals. Electricity as well is a major issue for hospitals. There have been reported shortages of electricity in several of these facilities.”

WHO officials say states are obligated under international humanitarian law to make sure people are able to reach medical care in safety, even during armed conflict, and that hospital facilities are neutral places, which must be respected and protected by all warring parties.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael Davison from: Israel
July 26, 2014 12:29 AM
The real question is, will Hamas allow civilians to leave? Will they accept the departure of their human shields?

The IDF opened a field hospital near the Erez crossing earlier this week, offering medical treatment to wounded from Gaza, but Hamas has closed the crossing, preventing wounded from getting treatment.

"WHO officials say states are obligated under international humanitarian law to make sure people are able to reach medical care in safety, even during armed conflict, and that hospital facilities are neutral places, which must be respected and protected by all warring parties."

Talk to Hamas about that... and good luck!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs