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Gaza hospitals strained as casualty numbers rise

Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 01:28

Gaza hospitals are running low on medical equipment to treat the surge in patients caused by Israel's almost two-week offensive on the Gaza strip. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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With emergency crews in auto-pilot, casualties stream into Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital. Health Officials say at least 385 Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by Israel's 13-day offensive. These staggering numbers are taking a toll on area hospitals. Authorities say hospitals face crisis-level shortages of medical supplies. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEALTH MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, ASHRAF AL-QIDRA, SAYING: "Health teams have announced a red alert across all hospitals in the Gaza Strip and they have communicated this to officials. Officials should take responsibility because the state of health has entered a catastrophic stage, especially the special surgery and the intensive care units - they are suffering a lot across Gaza Strip hospitals." The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service is feeling the weight of the war. Paramedics' lives are at risk from Israeli fire. Ambulances cannot always reach victims, because certain areas have been declared "closed military zones." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF AMBULANCE DEPARTMENT AT RED CRESCENT, BASHAR MURAD, SAYING: "There are some major obstacles such as the lack of medicine. More than 90 percent of the medicine was used in the beginning of the first ten or eleven days of war due to a huge number of martyrs and wounded." A large-scale Israeli ground offensive shows no sign of easing up, while the Israeli military says Hamas militants are responding with anti-tank missiles and heavy weapon fire.

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Gaza hospitals strained as casualty numbers rise

Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 01:28