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Gaza hospital shutters after Israeli blockade causes fuel shortages Open in fullscreen

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Gaza hospital shutters after Israeli blockade causes fuel shortages

Kidney patients hooked up to a dialysis machine in Gaza [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 January, 2018

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The UN had earlier warned that longer power cuts could lead to a "total collapse" of basic services in Gaza.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza has forced the Beit Hanoun hospital on Monday to suspend its services after running out of fuel, the health ministry said.

Patients at the northern Gazan hospital will be transferred to other hospitals in the Strip, said Gazan health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, quoted by AFP.

The Beit Hanoun hospital typically serves some 60,000 people.

About 500 litres of fuel per day are required to operate a generator and keep services open at Beit Hanoun. But crippling energy shortages – along with a spike in electricity demand due to cold weather – has made that difficult.

Since 2008, Israel has maintained its blockade of Gaza, which it says is necessary to limit Hamas – the Islamist group that runs the Strip. 

In June 2017, the Palestinian Authority asked Israel to reduce Gaza's electricity supply by 40 per cent. The move was seen as part of President Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to weaken the rival Hamas government in Gaza. 

The PA recently agreed to end cuts on electricity payments for Gaza. 

Egypt has also kept its border with Gaza largely closed in recent years, but has allowed some fuel to be imported.

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