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PA health ministry 'stopped critical supplies reaching Gaza'

Dec. 16, 2011 11:32 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 17, 2011 2:16 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Medical supplies required for dialysis have run out in the Gaza Strip, endangering the lives of 450 patients with kidney failure, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said on Thursday.

Blood filters, which are available to the Ministry of Health in Ramallah, have not been delivered to Gaza due to "political differences" between the governments in the two territories, the rights group said in a statement.

Dialysis for all renal failure patients in the blockaded strip, which include 15 children, have been stopped, PCHR said.

The group said hospitals in the Gaza Strip ordinarily perform 15 dialyses every day, requiring 150 blood filters, and called on President Mahmoud Abbas to instruct the Ramallah-based ministry to provide the missing supplies "immediately and regularly."

The Ramallah-based government is dominated by Fatah, long-time rivals of the Hamas-lead Gaza Strip government, who split after fighting exploded into near civil war in 2007.

Health officials in Gaza say their Ramallah counterpart is not providing the necessary medical equipment for hospitals in the Gaza Strip to function, but the PA health minister accuses Gaza of "politicizing the health sector" by blaming his ministry for the shortages.
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