‘Do we fuel baby incubators or bakeries?’ Palestinians face an impossible choice 

'Do we give for the incubators or the bakeries?'

‘Do we fuel baby incubators or bakeries?’ Palestinians face an impossible choice 
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 26: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) An injured Palestinian kid sits on a stretcher waiting to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital after Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 26, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu via Getty Images)
An injured Palestinian boy sits on a stretcher waiting to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital (Picture: Getty)

‘Do we give (fuel) for the incubators or the bakeries?’ these are the decisions that people in Gaza have to make while fleeing Israel’s bombardment.

A third of hospitals are closed and more are expected to shut within hours due to dwindling supplies of fuel amid the ongoing siege, the United Nations warned.

Medics are taking emergency cases only over fears the supply will run out despite the number of wounded surpassing 18,000, all the while new deliveries are being blocked.

KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 26: An injured Palestinian kid is brought to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital after Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 26, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu via Getty Images)
An injured Palestinian kid is brought to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital (Picture: Getty)
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 26: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) An injured Palestinian kid is brought with a stretcher to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital after Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 26, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Thousands of children in Gaza have been wounded in the last three weeks (Picture: Getty)

Many lives hinge on the constant flow of electricity, but once the generators stop, there is nothing that could be done for patients, including premature newborns in incubators.

The UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, has been delivering its stockpile with bakeries, so that people in shelters are fed and water is desalinated.

But relief workers have warned that remaining supplies will run out at some point today if the agency continues to do all these things.

Spokesperson Tamara Alrifai said: ‘Do we give for the incubators or the bakeries?

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KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 26: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) Palestinians injured in Israeli air raids arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital on October 26, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Heading into a third week of heavy bombing from Israel, Gaza buckles under a shortage of basic needs including fuel, whilst several neighborhoods on the Gaza strip have been wiped out and thousands have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. On October 7, Hamas launched a deadly attack in southern Israel that sparked a retaliatory siege of Gaza. (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)
The lack of fuel has meant that medics are having to prioritise emergency care (Picture: Reuters)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A man holds a child, survivors of Israeli bombardment, as they are treated at a trauma ward at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 24, 2023 amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
A number of countries have called for a humanitarian ceasefire to led aid through (Picture: AFP)

‘Do we bump clean water or do we send trucks to the borders? It’s an excruciating decision.’

Experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross focused their visit on Tuesday on two of the main medical centres in Gaza: al-Quds and al-Shifa.

William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC mission in Gaza, said both hospitals ‘are rapidly running out of fuel and medical supplies’.

At Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital, the lack of medicine and clean water have also led to ‘alarming’ infection rates, Doctors Without Borders said.

A wounded Palestinian woman and her child are wheeled into the Nasser hospital following Israeli bombardment, in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on October 26, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)
A wounded Palestinian woman and her child (Picture: AFP)

Amputations are often required to prevent infections from spreading, the group added.

One surgeon has described amputating half the foot of a nine-year-old boy with only ‘slight sedation’ on a hallway floor as his mum and sister watched.

In recent days, Israel has let more than 70 trucks with aid enter from Egypt, which aid workers say is insufficient and only a tiny fraction of what was being brought in before the war.

Israel is still barring deliveries of fuel – needed to power generators – claiming it believes that Hamas will take it.

‘This is a small amount of what is required, a drop in the ocean,’ Mr Schomburg added. ‘We are trying to establish a pipeline.’

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