Caritas doctor appeals for Gaza ceasefire so wounded can be treated

 Caritas Jerusalem's Gaza Medical Centre Director Dr Bandalay Sayegh reported on Friday that 18 people from Beit Hanoun in th Northern Gaza Strip had been killed in two days. These included a 75 year old man shot by snipers. He said: "We also understand that over 100 are injured and the numbers are rising in the fighting which is ongoing. The citizens of Beit Hanoun are now calling for the Red Cross to come and help to evacuate the wounded. It is an unbelievably dangerous situation for all the people of Beit Hanoun at this time. Anything that moves is targeted." The call for the citizens of Gaza has gone out to give blood at this time. Dr Sayegh reported: "I myself gave blood today as the hospitals are urgently requesting this. All of the negative blood types are needed." North Gaza is not the only area targeted at this time. "An incursion is taking place in SE Gaza and near the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza as we speak. We understand that some shooting is also taking place at Shejayea in Eastern Gaza as well." Many people in Gaza believe that a major invasion in coming at any time. At the hospital in Beit Hanoun, Dr Sayegh reports that "we understand that the Israeli army is seeking to enter the hospital to arrest injured wanted persons. The situation in Beit Hanoun is very unpredictable. People are short on food and water and are preparing for a much larger scale invasion. There is no milk for babies available. People in Beit Hanoun are calling all relief organizations for help." Caritas Jerusalem urges the parties to immediately cease all military activities so that the injured can be treated. It is essential that all attacks directed at Gaza and at southern Israel from Gaza stop. It is vital that urgent international intervention take place in Gaza to restore order, treat the wounded and to allow for those who have died to be buried with dignity. In response to this situation, we continue to be in close communication with our medical director in Gaza and are continuing to assess how we can help the people in Gaza at this time. Caritas Jerusalem is currently undertaking a nine month emergency intervention in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem that began in June 2006.

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