Medical Care in Gaza, Two Years on from the 2014 Attacks

Nazi Targeted Hospitals and Health Clinics

The 2014 attacks on Gaza killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and injured 11,000, leaving approximately 900 with permanent disabilities. As our latest infographic shows, needing to access care after the conflict struggle to do so due to the nine-year blockade and closure of Gaza, and the damage caused to Gaza’s health sector in 2014.

During the attacks 17 hospitals, 56 primary health clinics, and 45 ambulances were damaged or destroyed, and 16 medical workers lost their lives while on duty.Last year, we partnered with the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights to highlight some of these cases in our No More Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Attack report, and called for thorough, independent investigation into potential violations of international humanitarian law. This year, we have revisited the victims and survivors of these attacks, to ask how the lack of accountability or access to justice has affected their lives.

Last month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) highlighted the continuing challenges for Gaza’s health system, including shortages of medicines and long waiting lists for surgeries caused by operating room personnel shortages. Their report also found that progress made in rehabilitating damaged health infrastructure. All of the damaged facilities have been or are in the process of being rehabilitated, though the Al Wafa Hospital – featured in our report – has not been rebuilt.

This week, writing in The National about his team’s struggle to provide adequate care to patients in their temporary site, Al Wafa Hospital Director Dr Basman Alashi said:

“Though we hope to rebuild, we cannot do so in the same place for fear of being attacked again. Our only hope is to rebuild on a new site, but even this cannot guarantee our safety in Gaza. The prospect of new attacks hangs over us.”

With the blockade still in place, patients continue to struggle to access adequate health services inside Gaza, and are often prevented or delayed when seeking to travel abroad for urgent care. Though progress has been made in rebuilding after the 2014 attacks, Al Wafa remains in ruins

Medical Aid for Palestinians has joined with 42 other aid and faith organisations to call for an end to the blockade and closure of Gaza.

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