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Hospitals in Gaza Near Collapse; Indonesia Seeking Access to Supply Fuel

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday, Nov. 1, that it is trying to get fuel into the Gaza Strip as generators at both the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the Indonesian Hospital are close to running out of fuel. Minister Retno Marsudi told a press conference in Central Jakarta that she was in contact with various parties to monitor the situation in the besieged enclave.

In early Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip issued a “last” appeal to the world to provide the hospitals with fuel to save the lives of the wounded and other patients. “A last warning… (There are) a few hours left before the shutdown of the main electrical generators in both the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the Indonesian Hospital,” Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told reporters.

People in Gaza are facing a crisis of basic needs, including electricity and clean water, as Israel cuts off the supplies. They are currently dependent on humanitarian aid entering through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

“It’s only about 48 hours left since this morning,” Retno said on Wednesday night. “We were in contact this morning before the shutdown of the main generator.”

Fikri Rofiul Haq, a volunteer from the Medical and Humanitarian Institute (MER-C) at the Indonesian Hospital, claimed that the electricity was still on in early Thursday. He also said that more than 100 deaths and 300 injured people were rushed to the hospital.

“Until this midnight, we continued to hear explosions,” Haq said.

Minister Retno emphasized that the government was trying to get fuel into Gaza for humanitarian reasons. “Again, this is for humanitarian reasons.”

It is hard to deliver fuel to the Gaza Strip because Israel fears the aid will be used for military purposes by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israel has allowed only a few aid trucks through the Rafah border crossing, but no fuel.

Israel insisted on maintaining the ban despite calls from United Nations (UN) agencies operating in Gaza, and overcrowded hospitals are at risk of collapse due to a power crisis.

In the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 2, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which is the leading cancer hospital in Gaza, was among the hospitals that were no longer functioning due to fuel shortages and damage caused by Israeli airstrikes in the area over the past 48 hours.

Source: Tempo