Hundreds of Palestinians shot by Israel in Gaza face amputations amid health funding crisis

Hundreds of Palestinians shot by Israel in Gaza face amputations amid health funding crisis
A lack of health funding in Gaza means 1,700 people shot by Israeli forces may have to have amputations in the next two years, the UN says.
3 min read
09 May, 2019
Around 29,000 Palestinians were injured in protests in the past year [Anadolu]
Over 1,500 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces may face amputation of limbs in the next two years due to a lack of health funding in Gaza, the UN warned on Wednesday.

Around 29,000 Palestinians were injured in protests in the past year, 7,000 of them suffered gunshot wounds, mostly in the lower legs, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for occupied Palestinian territory, told reporters.

"You've got 1,700 people who are in need of serious, complicated surgeries for them to be able to walk again," McGoldrick said.

"These are people who have been shot during the demonstrations and who are in need of rehabilitation, and very, very serious and complex bone reconstruction surgery over a two-year period before they start to rehabilitate themselves." 

Without those procedures, all these people are at risk of needing an amputation, he added. 

The UN is seeking $20 million to fill the gap in health spending.

Last month, rights group Amnesty International said Israel was carrying out a murderous assault against Palestinians, as its armed forces continue to kill and maim demonstrators who pose no imminent threat.

Amnesty called on governments worldwide to impose an arms embargo on Israel following disproportionate response to "Great March of Return" mass demonstrations along the Gaza border. 

The Israeli military killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others - some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries - during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March. 

"For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas," Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty's deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa said.

"Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters," Mughrabi said in a statement.

"The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel.

"A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel's cruel blockade of Gaza. These people are merely protesting their unbearable conditions and demanding the right to return to their homes and towns in what is now Israel."

The USA is by far Israel's main supplier of military equipment and technology, with a commitment to provide $38 billion in military aid over the next 10 years.

However, other countries, including EU member states such as France, Germany, the UK and Italy, have licensed large volumes of military equipment for Israel.

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