Acute medicine shortage in Gaza

2011-06-08 21:11

Gaza City - The Gaza Strip's health minister warned on Wednesday of an acute shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the territory, and he blamed the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority shortfalls.

Health Minister Basem Naem told a news conference that hundreds of medications and supplies have run out and warned that all surgeries would be suspended in the next few days if the items didn't start reaching Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority, run by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the shortage is severe in the West Bank as well, owing to a lack of money.

The office of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of using the issue to put political pressure on the Palestinian Authority ahead of reconciliation talks.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are ruled by duelling governments, though they have signed a deal meant to reunite them.

Gaza receives its medical supplies from the Western-backed Palestinian Authority because international donors want it to control all humanitarian outlays.