The Palestinian Health Ministry has warned of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to Israel's crippling blockade on the impoverished coastal enclave.
The ministry says a shortage of drugs and medical supplies at hospitals and medical centers has been critically aggravated over Israel's blockade on the coastal sliver for the past eight years.
According to Ashraf Abu Mahady, the director general of pharmacy in the ministry, Gaza now lacks 118 kinds of medicines and 334 types of medical disposals.
The official urged international bodies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization, to exert pressure on the Israeli regime to lift the blockade and open Gaza crossings.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave.
In March, the UN expressed concern about the economic situation in the Palestinian territory, saying the lifting of the Israeli siege is the “prerequisite” for reviving its economy.
“We, in the UN, have always been in the forefront in calling for an end to the blockade as a prerequisite for a stable, functioning economy in Gaza,” said Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process.
The UN official further noted that the blockaded area suffered destruction during the latest Israeli onslaught in 2014, saying Gaza's rehabilitation process would “take years.”
Last summer, Israel unleashed a war on the territory, which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and left over 11,100 others injured. The 50-day war ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce