Churches' official says Gaza medical supplies will soon run out

Remains of house in Rafah

The situation in hospitals in the Gaza Strip is dire, with Palestinians saying that medical supplies will soon run out, according to a cardiologist who serves with the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza, reports the Catholic News Service.

Dr Issa Tarazi, executive director of Near East Council of Churches Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees in Gaza, told Catholic News Service by telephone that Gaza's streets have very little traffic, and only emergency and hospital staff workers are working.

'Everyone in Gaza considers themselves a target. People are scared about what is going on.

'There are many displaced people,' Tarazi added. During the interview, the sound of planes could be heard over the phone as Israel's Operation Protective Shield headed into its second week. 

Thousands of people have fled and are seeking refuge largely in U.N. schools and facilities. Israel has said it is keeping humanitarian corridors into Gaza open.

Tarazi said he expected outpatient clinics such as the Caritas clinic and private hospitals to have a greater influx of patients than usual once the hostilities are over because governmental hospitals will have little or no medical supplies left.

The Israeli Defence Forces launched an offensive into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in early July in response to Hamas militants lobbing missiles into Israel.

By July 14, more than 170 people - about half civilians - had been killed in Gaza, and hundreds more were injured. In Israel, where the Iron Dome defence system had warded off dozens of Hamas missiles, there was some property damage and a handful of injuries. The situation has continued to deteriorate following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths in the West Bank and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teen.

The first Israeli death was reported overnight.

FULL STORY Churches' official: 'Everyone in Gaza considers themselves a target' (CNS)


First Israeli killed as conflict with Hamas intensifies (Chicago Tribune)

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