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Ambulances, firefighters barred from homes near Gaza border

July 20, 2014 9:12 A.M. (Updated: July 20, 2014 11:19 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza firefighters and ambulance services have been informed that they are not allowed to access the eastern Gaza Strip areas without coordination with Israel through the Red Cross, an official said Saturday.

Director of Gaza Strip's civil defense services Said al-Saudi was quoted on the website of the former Gaza Ministry of Interior as saying that "the Red Cross notified us that ambulances and firefighting vehicles cannot access the eastern Gaza Strip areas near the borders with Israel without coordination through the Red Cross Committee."

He added that "so far there has been no coordination."

Al-Saudi called upon Palestinian residents to use whatever first aid means they have and to try to extinguish blazes themselves until rescue teams manage to access them.

Meanwhile, fires broke out in dozens of Palestinian houses as a result of Israeli artillery shells fired haphazardly at Palestinian neighborhoods near the border with Israel.

The ministry of interior published on its website numbers of the Red Cross urging citizens to try to call in case ambulances and firefighters fail to arrive and help them.

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