Two Gaza Hospitals to be Shut Down Due to Power Crisis

Gaza's Ministry of Health of Palestine on Sunday warned that some hospitals might be shut down within hours due to the acute fuel shortage plaguing the besieged area.

Spokesman for the Ministry, Ashraf al-Qedra, said that a few hours from now health services will be halted in both Beit Hanoun hospital and al-Durra children's hospital.

Al-Qedra announced on 23rd January that the Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health, Jawad Awwad, had decided to allocate one million shekels to supply Gaza's health facilities with fuel. However, al-Qedra added, the funds would cover the fuel consumed by these facilities in ten days only.

For his part, Hamas's spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the PA government's disregard for the Gaza hospitals' needs is a thinly veiled attempt to push Gaza toward collapse.

Barhoum, in a statement on his Facebook page, held the PA government responsible for the consequences of this crisis.

Ministry of Health said that it is facing a stifling power crisis that would adversely affect the provision of health services in the Gaza Strip.

It added that it has decided to operate smaller generators in its facilities and take a series of austerity measures to optimize the use of the available amount of fuel.

The Ministry explained that Gaza's health facilities need 450,000 liters of diesel per month when power outages last 8-12 hours a day. In the case of 20-hour outages, 950,000 liters are needed.

The cost of the fuel needed to cover a single hour of power outage is nearly $2,000, the Ministry noted.

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