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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs