MADRE Statements

Humanitarian Supplies Urgently Needed in Gaza, as Israel Begins Ground Offensive

Posted on: Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Keywords: Palestine, Emergency Relief. Israel, Gaza

The Israeli ground offensive, which began on the night of Saturday, January 3, has signaled yet another escalation of violence in Gaza.  An intensification of Israeli military aggression, which began on December 27 in the form of airstrikes, this latest development feeds into the cycle of violence well known to those in the region.  MADRE calls for an end to the Israeli ground and air offensive and for a stop to the continued Hamas rocket launches.

While Israel has provided assurances that its military power has targeted Hamas fighters, civilian casualties have been high and life in Gaza has been put at tremendous risk. As the New York Times reported, the badly under-resourced Shifa hospital in Gaza saw dozens of civilian casualties brought in on Sunday after the start of the ground offensive, and the situation grows more desperate as medical supplies dwindle and the region’s infrastructure collapses.

For the 1.5 million people of Gaza, the reality of continued military attacks looms large and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.  Many people are without electricity or water, and even fuel supplies for hospitals are running out. Airstrikes have destroyed roads and communication lines, rendering the evacuation of the injured extremely difficult. Since the start of the airstrikes on December 27, the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 500 and the number of injured is now more than 2,000.

MADRE's partner in Gaza, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), has worked for nearly thirty years to provide emergency and primary health care services, and their efforts are sorely needed now. For more information about how you can help provide medical necessities to the people of Gaza, click here.


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