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Ambulances having difficulty reaching victims in Gaza border town

July 24, 2014 10:51 A.M. (Updated: July 25, 2014 4:44 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Ambulance and rescue teams are still unable to easily access the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip in order to help victims of the Israeli assault in the village.

On Thursday, medics said that Israel military forces stopped and inspected an ambulance as it was leaving the area.

On Sunday, meanwhile, Israeli forces informed Gaza medical authorities that they would need to arrange with the Red Cross to coordinate with the Israeli army in order to reach border areas, but ambulances have complained that this coordination has not been forthcoming.

As a result, tens of thousands of Palestinians living in border areas have had their access to medical services drastically curtailed, with dead bodies piling up and the injured unable to leave for hospitals.

Locals did however tell Ma'an that despite the obstacles, on Thursday ambulances managed to access the western outskirts of the village and evacuate six bodies from Israeli shelling the night before.

Khuzaa is located inside of the "security buffer zone," which extends between 500 meters and 1500 meters into the Strip from the border and is a virtual no-go zone for Palestinians as Israeli forces frequently shoot at civilians if they approach the area.

According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.
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