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Patients’ Lives Threatened by Fuel Crisis in Gaza


With hospitals at risk of shutting down, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses deep concern at the extent of the ongoing fuel crisis in Gaza. Healthcare institutions, from hospitals and primary care centers to blood banks and medical labs, are seriously threatened by the fuel crisis.


Al Mezan’s documentation shows that the last fuel shipment made to the health sector was in November 2018 and was funded by international humanitarian organizations. Since then, health facilities and international humanitarian agencies have repeated calls for urgent support since then have gone unheeded.


Given Gaza’s chronic power crisis, where electricity is organized along eight-hour shifts of connectivity, the health facilities require about 300,000 liters of fuel each month to run generators as an alternative source of electricity. Should the these facilities run out of fuel, 128 dialysis machines will be stopped, which will affect the lives of over 800 patients, including 30 children, who depend on the machines for hemodialysis treatment on a triweekly basis. The diagnostic equipment and life support devices will be rendered useless, and surgeries will need to be delayed or cancelled.


Al Mezan stresses that this crisis, and its impact on the civilian population’s wellbeing, is primarily the responsibility of Israel, the occupying power. Al Mezan also recalls that the Palestinian Authority is also a duty bearer according to international human rights law and must therefore, along with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, take all necessary actions within their power to ensure patients’ lives and wellbeing, including by providing the necessary support to affected institutions.


The right to health is a fundamental human right and must be protected and fulfilled, so that each person attains the highest possible standard of physical and psychological well-being. Al Mezan therefore urges the Palestinian government to take effective steps to protect this right, including through:

  1. Ensuring the required amount of fuel is shipped to Gaza hospitals on a timely and regular basis;
  2. Engaging in active planning for the management of major developments in the capacities of health institutions in Gaza—especially at this time of the year when patients of bronchitis, often children, are hospitalized on a two-per-bed basis; and
  3. Refrain from allowing political disputes from affecting access to basic rights and services.


Al Mezan calls on concerned agencies, NGOs and international bodies to mobilize support for health facilities and patients in the Gaza Strip, whose lives are threatened by the current crisis, and to improve the resilience and overall development of health institutions in Gaza.

Tags / #power #IHL