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Gaza hospitals have run out of 27 per cent of essential medicines

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has warned that more than 27 per cent of essential medicines and 48 per cent of all medicines have now run out, Anadolu news agency reported.

Palestinian Deputy Health Minister Youssef Abul Rish said the hospitals in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a severe shortage of essential medicines and medical supplies.

Speaking at a press conference held in Gaza on Thursday, Anadolu quoted Abul Rish as saying that the ministry has now completely run out of 27 per cent of its stock of essential medicines and 48 per cent of its basic medicines.

Abul Rish explained that Israel's recent war on the Gaza Strip, which lasted for 51 days, has considerably worsened the situation in the health sector.

He pointed out that the Israeli assault left 2,152 Palestinians dead, 44 per cent of whom were children, women and elderly, while the total number of Palestinians wounded reached 11,231. Israeli forces also targeted 12 hospitals and 24 health care centres.

Abul Rish called for implementing the terms of the ceasefire, lifting the siege of Gaza and allowing all medical supplies and basic foodstuffs into the Strip.

Israel launched an intensive military campaign against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on 8 July. With Egyptian sponsorship, the Palestinian and Israeli sides reached a long-term truce on 26 August to end the latest aggression in Gaza. The truce includes a comprehensive and mutual ceasefire in conjunction with the opening of the crossings between Gaza and Israel so that humanitarian aid, relief, and reconstruction kits could quickly enter into besieged enclave, according to a statement issued by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Ever since the Hamas movement, which Israel considers a "terrorist organisation", won a majority in the Palestinian legislative elections back in January 2006, Israel has imposed a land, air and sea blockade of Gaza. This blockade was tightened after the movement took control of the Strip in June of the following year. The blockade has continued, even though last June Hamas gave up power in Gaza to participate in the formation of a Palestinian national consensus government along with the Palestinian Authority.

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