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ICRC sending medicine, supplies to Gaza

Nov. 16, 2012 8:37 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2012 4:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross is supplying medicine, disposables, infusions and dressing materials to hospitals and ambulances in the Gaza Strip.

It has "started collecting information on houses damaged in Gaza during the operation with a view to distributing in the coming days emergency supplies to the families affected, such as food, kitchen utensils, blankets, hygiene requisites and tents," a statement says.

ICRC says it has been facilitating the entry of 10 trucks of medicines and disposables into Gaza "which will be available for distribution in the next few days."

Palestinian Authority Health Minister Hani Abdeen said late Thursday that 15 trucks of medical supplies sent from Ramallah were being held up at a Israeli checkpoint.

"We sent the first batch of medications (Thursday) morning and it's now waiting at Israeli checkpoints for permission to pass to Gaza," Abdeen said.

The minister said international organizations had promised to help the PA get Israeli permission to deliver medicine to the Gaza Strip.

ICRC expressed concern about civilians affected by the ongoing hostilities. At least 12 civilians are among 24 Palestinians killed in Gaza since Wednesday, and 3 Israeli civilians have been killed.

Emergency services spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya says 255 Palestinians have been injured, including 100 children, women and elderly. Thirty people are in a serious condition, he says.

"The ICRC is helping the Gazan ministry of health and our partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement take care of the wounded," said Juan-Pedro Schaerer, who heads the local ICRC delegation.

"Despite difficult security conditions, the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Magen David Adom in Israel are working round the clock to treat casualties and evacuate them to hospitals," he added.
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