Humanitarian Health Action

WHO statement on the situation in the Gaza Strip

The World Health Organization (WHO) expresses deep concern about the recent deteriorating situation for the health of people in the Gaza Strip.

On 19 September, the Israeli Government declared the Gaza Strip a “hostile entity” which may result in the interruptions to water, fuel and electricity supplies to the territory, thus further aggravating an already difficult situation for the health of the population in Gaza. Over many years the people of Gaza have endured many problems that have affected their health and well being:

The recent internal political situation also has the potential to exacerbate the many health problems that Palestinian people are facing. Within the health system in Gaza, the following factors have had direct consequences on the operation of health services:

  • Socioeconomic decline: high poverty and unemployment rates;
  • Military actions: around 500 casualties in 2007 and destruction of infrastructure;
  • Physical, psychological and economic isolation.

WHO is increasingly concerned about the consequences of these factors on the health of the population in Gaza and calls on all the parties involved to respect the rights of the people and to create conditions which will enable the access to health services.