Kuwaiti Maternity Hospital in Rafah unable to cope with scores of dead and injured

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 03, 2014

Dead bodies stacked in a cold-store

Dead bodies stacked in a cold-store

The Ministry of Health Gaza is reeling from the reports coming out of Rafah, where scores have been killed and injured today, including 10 dead and over 30 injured in yet another attack on an UNRWA school, this time the Anas Ibn Malik Prepatory School sheltering thousands of forcibly displaced persons.

A group of women, children and older people were sitting against the wall at the entrance to the school seeking shade from the sun when they were struck.

This atrocity follows dawn attacks in Rafah on the Ghoul and Abu Jazzar family homes which left 18 dead and dozens injured, and brings the number killed in Gaza today to at least 118.

Missile and mortar attacks are continuing in Rafah, putting enormous pressure on the 20-bed Kuwaiti Maternity Hospital, which is overflowing with dead and injured. There are 30 bodies lying on the floor of the dental clinic, and children’s bodies stored in ice-cream, flower, and vegetable freezers as there are no morgue facilities.

Children's bodies in icecream freezer

Children’s bodies in icecream freezer

Other bodies have already been taken for burial in the western cemetery, the eastern cemetery being inaccessible because of Israeli shell-fire.

“We desperately need blood, we do not have enough for transfusions,” said Fatma Abu Musa, a laboratory technician at Kuwaiti Hospital. “We only have two operating theatres, one for minor surgery. They have to operate on two people at the same time on one operating table, major surgeries, with intestines on the outside, eyes on the outside. It is impossible to deal with all the wounded.”

Kuwaiti Hospital has sent many patients on to the Emirati Red Crescent Maternity Hospital nearby, which is slightly bigger but equally unequipped to deal with the types of injuries presenting.

The Ministry of Health Gaza has made numerous calls to the international community over recent weeks for assistance – calls which have largely gone unanswered.

We again implore of you that you take immediate concrete action to bring the Israeli carnage in Gaza to an end.

We demand in the name of humanity that the international community act to:
1. Stop Israeli war crimes immediately, and end the attacks on Gaza;

2. Establish safe evacuation routes for the injured to be transported from Rafah to other hospitals in Gaza for treatment; and

3. Ensure the prompt and safe transfer outside of Palestine for all of those patients who need it.

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