GAZA CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 09-10-21

coronavirus gaza update 09-10-21
Source: Ministry of Health, Gaza

Although daily reported data are missing from the 6 th to the 29th of September n this report, the cumulative data are update since the 30th. A recent increase in Coronavirus cases, is apparently arrested in the last week.

Serious cases remain about 200 every day for the past week. Vaccinated people in total are 4459428 as to October 12th. Vaccines are reported available for those that require them; between 30 and 20% people found positive daily at screening .

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Gazans Are Being Poisoned Slowly As Result Of Israel’s Long Siege

Besieged Gaza (Palestine Online)- International organizations have warned that the Gaza population is slowly poisoned as 97 percent of the water in the coastal enclave has become undrinkable as a result of long years of tight Israeli blockade.

This came in a joint oral statement released on Monday by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH) during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).

“Euro-Med Monitor and GIWEH would like to draw your attention to the severe deterioration in the Gaza Strip’s water security, mainly due to Israel’s prolonged siege, punctuated by periodic military assaults,” a spokesman for the two organizations said, addressing HRC.

“It is now well established that 97 percent of Gaza’s water has become contaminated, a situation made substantially worse by an acute electricity crisis that stifles the operation of water wells and sewage treatment plants, leading about 80 percent of Gaza’s untreated sewage to be discharged into the sea while 20 percent seeps into underground water.”

“Further compounding this water crisis is Israel’s attacks on Gaza last May that substantially pounded the enclave’s already decaying infrastructure, especially in the water sector.”

“This water crisis presents a serious threat to the beleaguered population’s health, where recent data indicates that about a quarter of the diseases spread in Gaza are caused by water pollution, and 12 percent of the deaths of young children and infants are linked to intestinal diseases related to contaminated water.”

“[Therefore], a civilian population caged in a toxic slum from birth to death is forced to witness the slow poisoning of their children and loved ones by the water they drink and likely the soil in which they harvest, endlessly, with no change in sight.”

“There is no possible justification whatsoever for this situation. It is incumbent on the occupying authority and international community to fully guarantee Gazans’ right to water security,” the spokesman concluded the statement.

Besieged Gaza

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Are there ‘two sides’ to attacks on healthcare? Evidence from Palestine

European Journal of Public Health, 1–2
 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For
commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
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Viewpoint
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Are there ‘two sides’ to attacks on healthcare? Evidence from Palestine
In June 2018, 20-year-old medic Razan al-Najjar was shot and killed
by an Israeli sniper as she tended to protestors on the border between
the Gaza Strip and Israel. Despite efforts to obscure Razan’s
motivations, with an Israeli spokesperson claiming she was ‘not the
angel of mercy Hamas propaganda is making her out to be,1’ eventually
Israel admitted that her death was unintentional and a rigorous
New York Times investigation found that the medics and others
in the immediate area posed no threat to Israelis2. Although Razan’s
murder made international news, the World Health Organization
(WHO) reported 431 other attacks against healthcare in the occupied
Palestinian territories (oPt) in 2018.3
Just as acts targeting health infrastructure are condemned when
committed by regimes seen as hostile by the West, the international
medical community must speak out forcefully when they are performed
by states viewed as allies. This is particularly true when our
governments are providing significant military aid to these countries,
as in the case of the USA4 and the European Union,5 which
collectively supply Israel with billions of dollars in such aid annually.
For decades, there have been dozens, and often hundreds, of
attacks on Palestinian healthcare from Israeli military forces
reported annually. But to the medical community, these attacks
are not mere numbers. In May 2021, a former colleague of one of
the authors of this article was killed in the Gaza Strip. Dr. Ayman
Abu al-Ouf, head of internal medicine at al-Shifa Hospital and the
coordinator of the hospital’s COVID-19 response, died when Israeli
bombs struck his home an hour after he left his shift at the hospital.
Dr. al-Ouf was more than a work colleague; he was an inspiring
figure who had mastered his profession and saved many lives. ‘His
death is a catastrophe’, said one of the physicians he trained.6
The recent cycle of Israeli military aggression on the besieged
Gaza Strip has caused colossal damage to the already worn-out
healthcare system. Six hospitals and nine clinics, including a trauma
clinic run by Me´decins Sans Frontie`res as well as the main COVID-
19 laboratory in Gaza, were damaged.7 As with other attacks on
Gaza, the true damage to the infrastructure of roads, water and
sanitation facilities, electricity, and other resources vital to health
remains to be discovered. Simultaneously, Israeli troops invaded Al
Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem and blocked ambulances of the
Red Crescent responding to protests at the al-Aqsa mosque. From
May 7–20 alone, the WHO reported 117 attacks on healthcare across
the West Bank and Gaza.8
Civilian medical facilities, personnel and ambulances are offered
special protections in international humanitarian law (IHL), as mandated
in the Geneva Conventions and supported by multiple resolutions,
statutes and statements since. Article 19 of the Fourth
Geneva Convention states that hospitals retain these protections unless
actively engaged in ‘acts harmful to the enemy’. Loss of civilian
life and damage to civilian infrastructure must also be weighed in
such decisions. Yet the vagueness of this provision allows belligerent
actors to make unsubstantiated claims of military uses, such as the
hospital being utilized as a ‘human shield’. This justification has been
given even as hospitals were clearly used for civilian purposes, with
some bombings occurring as facilities were full of patients.
Israel regularly claims that the dozens of medical facilities bombed
in Gaza are attacked because they house militants or arms. In some
cases, the bombing is considered collateral damage for attacks on
nearby facilities thought to be holding militants. In others, the Israeli
military admits a target was a mistake. This reveals the entire premise
of Israel’s approach to security: that their actions should be
construed solely as self-defense in ongoing warfare, with the other
side equally if not more culpable for attacks on its own people.
After multiple massive assaults on Gaza, and regular violence
against Palestinians across the oPt, medical and public health professionals
tasked with protecting human life should take the lead in
questioning whether Israel’s aggressive use of military force against
medical infrastructure and personnel, under the guise of selfdefense,
is acceptable. The lack of evidence provided to justify these
numerous attacks begs the question of how many would qualify as
self-defense under IHL if Israel was independently investigated.
Israel’s past internal investigations have led to almost no repercussions
or admissions of wrongdoing.
The bombing of healthcare facilities and medical staff is only the
most visible of the systematic violence towards Palestinian healthcare.
As the Occupying Power throughout the oPt, Israel has specific
duties to provide for and protect Palestinian health and medical
needs ‘to the fullest extent of the means available to it’ according
to the Geneva Conventions. Yet years of occupation, segregation,
building walls and checkpoints, restrictions on freedom of movement,
and an illegal siege in Gaza systematically weakens and dedevelops
the Palestinian healthcare system. Israel’s attacks on health
across the West Bank and East Jerusalem include the raiding of
hospitals, the blockage of ambulances and other physical attacks
or barriers. In June 2021, Israel shut down one of the largest health
care service providers in the West Bank for purported political
affiliations.9 Such closures, restrictions and other targeted disruptions
of Palestinian healthcare should be viewed as akin to physical
violence—as violations of Palestinian health that are tantamount to
collective punishment.
While we have been interrogating whether the concept of selfdefense
might apply above, many legal scholars do not accept that
Israel has such a right under international law. A state cannot simultaneously
control and occupy a territory while claiming to be
under attack from that territory as a foreign threat.10 Israel’s duty
to protect Palestinians under occupation has a much stronger legal
basis than any purported right to self-defense, particularly one that
in practice leads to killing those who require said protection.
Leaving aside the question of whether self-defense can legally justify
attacks on the Gaza Strip, there is ample documentation that many
of the large-scale bombings, exhibiting the latest in modern weaponry,
are carried out with no such purpose.
The 2021 attacks on Palestinian healthcare workers and facilities
are therefore not isolated incidents but represent a pattern of illegal
targeting, which may amount to war crimes. In response, the
International Criminal Court has recently opened an investigation
into these and other potential crimes in the oPt since 2014, and the
United Nations Human Rights Council voted to open an investigation
on violations of IHL after this latest assault. While too many
lives have been lost, it is not too late for the international community,
including health professionals, to change course and demand
accountability.
Conflicts of Interest
None declared.
Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurpub/ckab167/6375348 by guest on 06 October 2021
References
1 Pileggi TJ. After saying it shot medic by accident, IDF claims she was ‘no angel’.
The Times of Israel 2018. Available at: https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-spokes
person-slain-gaza-medic-no-angel-of-mercy/ (22 June 2021, date last accessed).
2 Halbfinger D. A day, a life: when a medic was killed in Gaza, was it an accident?
The New York Times 2018. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/world/
middleeast/gaza-medic-israel-shooting.html (22 June 2021, date last accessed).
3 WHO. Right to Health in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2018. Available at:
https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/who-right-health-occu
pied-palestinian-territory-2018 (23 June 2021, date last accessed).
4 Ali M. Aid and human rights: the case of US aid to Israel. Policy Perspect 2018;15:
29–46.
5 European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine. EU and
Israel – the Case of Complicity 2019. Available at: https://www.eccpalestine.org/euand-
israel-the-case-of-complicity/ (23 June 2021, date last accessed).
6 Shaikhouni L. ‘His death is a catastrophe’: Gaza doctors mourn specialist killed in
air strike. BBC News 2021. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middleeast-
57148580 (24 June 2021, date last accessed).
7 Mahase E. Gaza: Israeli airstrikes kill doctors and damage healthcare facilities. BMJ
2021;373:n1300.
8 WHO. (2021). Escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Available at: http://
www.emro.who.int/images/stories/palestine/documents/210520_-_OPT_flash_up
date_May_20.pdf (22 June 2021, date last accessed).
9 Amnesty International. (2021). Israeli army shutdown of health organization will
have catastrophic consequences for Palestinian healthcare. Available at: https://
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/06/israeli-army-shutdown-of-health-organ
ization-will-have-catastrophic-consequences-for-palestinian-healthcare/ (23 June
2021, date last accessed).
10 Erakat N. No, Israel does not have the right to self-defense in international law
against occupied Palestinian territory. Jadaliyya 2014; Available at: https://www.
jadaliyya.com/Details/27551 (23 June 2021, date last accessed).
Yara M. Asi1, Osama Tanous2, Bram Wispelwey3,4,5,
Mohammed AlKhaldi6,7,8
1 School of Global Health Management and Informatics, University of Central
Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
2 Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
3 Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
4 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
5 Health for Palestine, West Bank, Palestine
6 Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
7 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel,
Switzerland
8 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University,
Nablus, Palestine
Correspondence: Y.M. Asi, School of Global Health Management and
Informatics, University of Central Florida, 500 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL
32801, USA
e-mail: yara.asi@knights.ucf.edu
doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckab167
2 of 2 European Journal of Public Health
Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurpub/ckab167/6375348 by guest on 06 October 2021

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Covid-19 à Gaza : le Hamas décide de sanctionner les fonctionnaires non vaccinés

A partir d’aujourd’hui, 1er octobre, les fonctionnaires gazaouis qui ne sont pas vaccinés n’auront pas le droit à des congés maladies s’ils sont infectés par le coronavirus. Une mesure mise en place par le Hamas pour pallier à un taux de vaccination très faible dans l’enclave côtière sous blocus israélien depuis 2007.
En août déjà, le Hamas avait précisé que tous les fonctionnaires devaient se faire vacciner contre le coronavirus. Mais cette fois, ils ont décidé d’aller encore plus loin, de prendre des mesures légales : les employés gouvernementaux gazaouis non vaccinés qui tombent malades ne seront pas payés pendant leur arrêt maladie. Une décision prise pour sanctionner, mais surtout inciter à la vaccination.
Car dans l’enclave côtière sous blocus, seulement 140 000 personnes ont reçu deux doses de vaccins, sur les 2 millions d’habitants. Si ce faible taux de vaccination s’explique en partie par la pénurie de vaccin qu’il y a eu pendant plusieurs mois, désormais, les doses sont disponibles, le ministère de la santé de Gaza parle d’un transfert de 768 000 doses vers la bande de terre côtière, mais la population y est réticente.
En Cisjordanie occupée, l’Autorité palestinienne a mis en place une mesure similaire, depuis la fin août pour inciter les habitants à se faire vacciner : les fonctionnaires ne peuvent pas bénéficier de congés payés s’ils ne sont pas vaccinés. « Car la plupart des nouveaux cas d’infections sont le fait de personnes non vaccinés » avait alors affirmé Mohammad Shtayyeh, le Premier ministre.

Site du Mouvement Démocratique Arabe

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ECHOCARDIOGRAPH FINALLY ARRIVED AT NASSER HOSPITAL IN GAZA

September 27, 2021

Dr. Shireen Abed told us the good news: after months of waiting, and withholding by Israel, the echocardiograph purchased with the funds NWRG-ONLUS AND EUROPALESTINE raised arrived this Sunday at Al-Nasser Pediatric Hospital in Gaza.

The device was immediately assembled by an engineer, and it will benefit from this Monday to 5 children!

Dr. Shirine Abed (photo below), Director of the intensive care unit of this hospital, warmly thanks all donors.

And dr. Yousef Al Aff, the internal cardiologist is at work!

 

FINALMENTE ARRIVATO L’ECOCARDIOGRAFO ALL’OSPEDALE NASSER DI GAZA

27 settembre 2021

La dottoressa Shireen Abed ci ha dato la buona notizia: dopo mesi di attesa, e trattenuta da Israele, l’ecocardiografo acquistato con i fondi raccolti da NWRG-ONLUS ED EUROPALESTINE è arrivato questa domenica all’ospedale pediatrico Al-Nasser di Gaza.

Il dispositivo è stato subito assemblato da un ingegnere, e da questo lunedì ha gia beneficiato 5 bambini!La dottoressa Shireen Abed (foto sotto), direttrice del reparto di terapia intensiva dell’ ospedale, ringrazia calorosamente tutti i donatori.

 

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From MENA region Covid 19 data

Between the 15th and 22nd of September, the following countries announced the highest COVID-19 numbers in the MENA region:

Iraq: 23,443 new cases and 319 deaths
Morocco: 15,727 new cases and 412 deaths
Jordan: 7,292 new cases and 76 deaths

With these rates, the cumulative number of reported cases in the MENA region has reached 8,076,106 and the cumulative number of deaths is now at 156,500.

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Palestine’s COVID-19 surge: Five key questions answered by MAP’s Gaza Director

The occupied Palestinian territory is currently experiencing another worrying surge in cases of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant of the disease, particularly in Gaza. We asked Fikr Shalltoot, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)’s Gaza Director, to answer five key questions about what this means for Gaza’s beleaguered health system and how MAP is responding on the ground.

1)What is the current COVID-19 situation in Gaza and what are your concerns?

Gaza is in the midst of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last 24 hours, there have been more than 1,300 new cases, with 244 people in critical care and eight deaths. We are concerned that the virus is putting a further strain on Gaza’s overwhelmed healthcare system and having a devastating toll on the wellbeing of healthcare workers.

We are also concerned that Israel’s 14-year illegal closure and blockade of Gaza is causing severe shortages of essential medicines and equipment. With just over 370,000 people in Gaza receiving their vaccination, only around 18% of the population, and only 81,000 people receiving both doses, we are worried that the virus will continue to spread throughout this densely-populated area.

2)How is MAP responding to the situation?

We have been supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s COVID-19 response. Since March 2020, we have provided personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, hospital oxygen generators, drugs, laboratory testing materials, disinfectants, and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and their related medical disposables to improve clinical outcomes for patients with severe COVID-19 health issues.

We are now looking to procure more lifesaving medical supplies, including more drugs and laboratory materials related to case management, to support the MoH’s COVID-19 response.

3)How are MAP’s activities affected?

We have been working hard to adapt and expand our vital support. Due to COVID-19 and the travel restrictions accompanying it, MAP has halted all medical missions that were urgently needed to support the delivery of life-saving surgical interventions and supporting and training Palestinian healthcare workers. We have only been able to carry out one medical mission so far in 2021, but our UK-based expert volunteers have been providing online support to their counterparts in Gaza. We also faced difficulties in prices and deliveries of medicines and medical equipment, due to the global impact of COVID-19.

For some projects, MAP had to cancel activities due to social distancing conditions, but also worked with our partners to adapt and deliver new awareness raising and advocacy activities, and provide hygiene items to keep people safe. In addition, MAP had to divert additional finances from its emergency reserve to respond to COVID-19, affecting some of the vulnerable groups who we had been previously supporting.

4)What are the effects on the healthcare system?

Following the 11-day Israeli military offensive on Gaza in May, there was extensive damage and destruction to the healthcare system, including to COVID-19 testing and vaccination facilities. The healthcare system has not even begun to recover from these latest attacks. For example, the designated vaccination facility for people in the north of Gaza is yet to be re-built. With each crisis that Gaza faces, its healthcare system is being pushed further and further toward the brink of collapse.

The knock-on effects of COVID-19 also mean the cancelling of outpatient clinics and stopping of essential elective surgeries. The MoH in Gaza also had to convert one large trauma hospital serving the southern areas of Gaza into a COVID-19 facility, which fragmented the services provided by this hospital and increased overcrowding in other hospitals.

5)What is the outlook for the upcoming months?

In the past few weeks, there have been some positive signs around vaccinations, with a dedicated vaccination drive which has seen more people vaccinated between 25 August to 9 September than in the entire six-month period before that when vaccinations first started. But this was a short spur of activity and has since been stopped by the MoH due to the low availability of vaccinations in Gaza. The vaccination rates also remain disturbingly low and unequal when compared to those in Israel, which has seen more than 80 per cent of its population vaccinated.

For as long as the suffocating blockade and illegal closure of Gaza continues, it is hard to be optimistic about the future. The healthcare system will never be able to fully recover from repeated attacks, let alone develop sustainably, without a full lifting of the blockade.

21 September 2021

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GAZA CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 05-09-21

coronavirus gaza update 05-09-21
Source: Ministry of Health, Gaza

By  September 5, the number of cases of Covid detected in Gaza continued to rise  and they totaled 9082 new cases for the last week, compared to 340 in the middle of July.

The people that died this week are 29, compared to 6 in the middle of July.

Last week vaccination started for the students in the high schools.

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GAZA CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 29-08-21

coronavirus gaza update 29-08-21
Source: Ministry of Health, Gaza

Total symptomatic registered since August 2020: 5,81 % of the population (116.910/2,200,000)
Total deaths since August 2020: 0.052% of the population (1.135/ 2,200,000)

Last time point is August 28, 2021

Comparing the total of new confirmed cases these are increasing since the previous months and reached in late August over the level of cases in the period of the outburst of infection in April. An alert to poeple was sent by the Ministry of Health to vaccinate. For the time being the impact of the rise in infections on the number of deaths, that anyhow always trails after that of infections, did not yet manifest itself.

The delta variant, first detected in West Bank early August, was confirmed also in Gaza in the middle of August.

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Follow up, the difficulties of war do not end with attacks

Gaza after the attacks- unexploded bombs

https://www.middleeasteye.net/topics/gaza-under-attack

Gaza: Nine out of ten children suffering from PTSD after Israel’s May offensive

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gaza-palestine-israel-conflict-children-ptsd-trauma-monitor

UN: Children of Palestine deserve security, not just education

https://daysofpalestine.ps/post/17016/UN-Children-of-Palestine-deserve-security-not-just-education/

And a good wishing picture of the children of Gaza going back to school

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