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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid