Conditions ‘Unspeakable’ as Israeli Onslaught Forces Over 1 Million to Flee Rafah

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Original article by EDWARD CARVER republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

A truck is used to evacuate the International Medical Corps American field hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 2, 2024.
 (Photo: Eyad Baba/AFP via Getty Images)

“Public health concerns are beyond crisis levels” in the areas where Palestinians have been forced to shelter, and “the sounds, the smells, the everyday life, are horrific and apocalyptic,” a U.N. official said.

More than 1 million Palestinians have fled Rafah as the city comes under a continued Israeli assault, forcing many to shelter in badly damaged buildings in the nearby city of Khan Younis, according to the United Nations.

The assault on Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, has left the displaced in “unspeakable” conditions, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on social media. Approximately 1.7 million displaced people are now in Khan Younis and “Gaza Middle Areas,” according to UNRWA.

Khan Younis, which saw sustained fighting earlier in the war, still does not appear to be a safe zone: Israeli military vehicles entered the city in recent hours after advancing to two towns just east of Khan Younis with “heavy gunfire and artillery shelling,” Al Jazeerareported.

Since early May, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has issued evacuation orders for parts of Rafah, telling people to go to an “expanded humanitarian zone” in Al-Mawasi, located roughly 12 miles from the city.

Israeli forces subsequently launched attacks on designated safe zones, including in Al-Mawasi. Two strikes killed 45 and 21 people last week, mostly women and children. The first of the attacks, known as the “tent massacre,” was carried out with U.S. weapons, later analysis showed.

Many of the people fleeing Rafah are having to move for at least the second time during the war. Roughly 1 million Palestinians who’d been displaced elsewhere had gone to Rafah for refuge earlier in the war. They began to leave Rafah nearly four weeks ago as Israeli started its assault on the city. Before the war, Rafah’s population was about 275,000, but the governorate reached a population of 1.4 million by February as Israel ordered Palestianians to move there from northern Gaza. This meant squeezing more than half of Gaza’s prewar population of 2.3 million into one governorate, NPR reported.

More than 18,500 pregnant women have been forced to leave Rafah, while about 10,000 pregnant women remain in the city in “desperate conditions,” the U.N. reported.

“They’re exhausted, traumatized, dehydrated, and malnourished,” the U.N. Population Fund wrote on social media of pregnant women dealing with “Israel’s terrifying military operation in Rafah.”

“Pregnant women in Gaza are living in an unrelenting nightmare,” the agency added.

After successive operations last month, Israel now controls the entire Gaza-Egypt border. Humanitarian corridors have shut down, with many agencies and aid groups pausing operations in Rafah due to lack of supplies and security concerns.

“We are living and working precariously in the south,” Matthew Hollingsworth said, World Food Program (WFP) country director in Palestine, said late last week, the U.N. reported. The areas where the displaced have been forced to shelter are nightmarish, he said.

“Public health concerns are beyond crisis levels” and “the sounds, the smells, the everyday life, are horrific and apocalyptic,” Hollingsworth added.

More than half of the structures in the Gaza Strip have been damaged, destroyed, or possibly destroyed during the eight-month Israeli assault, the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) concluded, in findings released Monday.

The mass displacement from Rafah continued as the Biden administration sought to arrange a cease-fire after after being pressured for months to end its military support for Israel’s onslaught. President Joe Biden called for an end to the war on Friday and backed a roadmap to a deal, which drew praise from Palestine defenders—the Council on American-Islamic Relations called it “long overdue” and a “positive step”—as well as criticism that it did not address the root causes of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the deal would not stop the war, which could not end until “total victory” had been achieved, according to Israeli National News.

Original article by EDWARD CARVER republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingConditions ‘Unspeakable’ as Israeli Onslaught Forces Over 1 Million to Flee Rafah

UK politics

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Recent UK politics articles and one about abuse in Florida.

“I want to use this election to raise awareness of the imminent danger posed to the NHS by the EU/US trade agreement which will allow American companies to carve up the NHS and make the privatisation process irreversible.

“I also want to alert the public to the gravity of the threat to the NHS from this government with its programme of cuts, hospital closures and privatisation and to send a powerful message to politicians in Westminster and Brussels that people will not stand by and let their NHS be destroyed.

“If elected, I will strive to ensure that EU regulations don’t adversely affect the NHS and are always in the best interests of the health of British people. The health of the nation spans all areas of policy from the environment to the economy”.



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Commentary and analysis of recent political events

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Number of homeless in England has risen for 3 years in a row, report says

Homelessness has increased for three consecutive years, partly because of housing shortages and cuts to benefits, with an estimated 185,000 people a year now affected in England, a report says.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis found almost one in 10 people experience homelessness at some point in their life, with one in 50 experiencing it in the last five years.

Responding to the report, Emma Reynolds, the shadow housing minister, accused David Cameron of breaking his promises to tackle homelessness and get Britain building.

“Homelessness has risen every year under this government, the number of families with children living in bed and breakfasts is at a 10-year high and house-building is at its lowest in peacetime since the 1920s,” she said.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, urged the government to address a chronic lack of affordable housing and consider the impact of its cuts to housing benefit, such as the bedroom tax, welfare cap and shared accommodation rate.

Image of Accident and emergencyA&E Winter Crisis: Patients Wait 12 Hours

Hundreds of patients are being forced to wait more than four hours to be seen by accident and emergency departments as the winter crisis begins.

It is the first time since April that emergency departments have struggled to hit their four-hour targets as admissions to A&E hit the highest level since data started being collected in November 2010.

According to NHS England figures, 3,678 patients across the country were forced to wait between four and 12 hours for treatment.

Five patients were not seen for more than 12 hours last week – the busiest week of the year with 415,000 people visiting A&E departments.

Waiting times were worst in major A&E wards where just 92.2% of patients were seen within four hours.

Free-Market Ideology: The Destruction of Lives

The over-policing of America

BoJo the bozo: Cycling safety campaigners slam Boris Johnson over lack of helmet and hi-viz 

Idiot Johnson is not the only one setting a poor example. As a cyclist, I advise you to wear a helmet as I was advised by my GP (doctor). If you fall from a bike, you’re falling six feet or so possibly with your head impacting the ground. Even presidents can have a ‘bicycle accident’.

Continue ReadingCommentary and analysis of recent political events

Coalition cuts blamed for shortage of 20,000 NHS nurses

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FOI requests reveal ‘hidden workforce crisis’ at odds with official statistics

Image reads Accident & Emergency, A & E

Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to dozens of NHS hospitals in England have exposed a “hidden workforce crisis” that has been missed by government statistics.

While official figures say that just 3,859 full-time nurse, midwife and health visitor posts have been lost since the Coalition came to power in May 2010, the RCN said that thousands more nursing vacancies have been created because hospitals have not been replacing staff that have retired or moved on due to reduced budgets.

Staffing shortages have been highlighted in a number of reports into NHS care. Robert Francis drew attention to understaffed wards at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust in his report into one of the worst care scandals in the health service’s history.

Howard Catton, the RCN’s head of policy, said that Government figures had not been “fully reflecting the shortages [that nurses] are experiencing at ward level”.

The report came as Downing Street confirmed that the Prime Minister is personally overseeing the NHS’s response to what A&E doctors have warned could be “our worst winter yet”. Many trusts missed their A&E targets last winter and there are fears that amid rising demand and reduced resources, the system may struggle to cope with expected spikes in admissions.

Thousands of patients wait 12 hours in A&E

New figures show 12,000 patients were left lying on trolleys for at least 12 hours in emergency departments last year

Around 12,000 patients spent at least 12 hours lying on trolleys after being admitted to A&E last year, according to new figures.

A further 250 people waited for treatment in casualty wards for 24 hours or more, a Freedom of Information request revealed.

One person was left for 71 hours and 34 minutes, nearly three days, at North West London trust, which runs Northwick Park and Central Middlesex A&E departments.

In another shocking case a patient waited 37 hours at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen A&E while a third was left for 33 hours at Ashford and St Peter’s in Chertsey, Surrey.

Health campaigners claimed the figures were more evidence of the growing crisis in hospitals’ emergency wards.

The figures came as the government received a warning that the closure of 50 out of 230 NHS walk-in centres in the last three years was putting extra strain on A&E units.

27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingCoalition cuts blamed for shortage of 20,000 NHS nurses

Closure of 23% of NHS walk-in centres ‘will put more pressure on A&E’

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Monitor says closures of 53 popular clinics could leave vulnerable people unable to access GP care

NHS sign

Despite huge popularity, nearly a quarter of NHS walk-in clinics offering seven-day care and evening opening have closed in the past three years, according to research by Monitor, the health service regulator.

It said there was a danger that closures could leave some patients unable to access GP care, particularly those unable to register with a surgery, as well as low-income working families and high-risk socially excluded groups such as homeless people, refugees and drug addicts.

More than 230 centres offering family doctor services were set up in England in the decade to 2010 under a Labour government initiative to improve access to care for patients who found it hard to register with their local GP or were unable to get a speedy appointment at a time that suited them.

Ironically, some of the closures appear to be the result of the centres being too successful. NHS commissioning authorities that have closed walk-in centres told Monitor that the clinics triggered “unwarranted” demand among “worried well” patients for often minor conditions. Some said they had closed centres to make savings as they could “no longer afford the convenience that walk-in centres offer”.

The closures are widely spread around England including in London, Plymouth, Southampton, Bristol, York, Manchester, Blackpool and Colchester. Six so-called “commuter” walk-in centres based at major railway stations in Manchester, London, Leeds and Newcastle, have closed in recent years after for failing to attract enough patients.

Monitor’s research found nearly two-thirds of patients who attended walk-in centres were already registered with a GP. Of these, just over a fifth said they had contacted their GP practice beforehand but were unable to get an appointment. A further 24% said they did not even bother to contact their GP because they anticipated there would be no convenient appointments available.

Continue ReadingClosure of 23% of NHS walk-in centres ‘will put more pressure on A&E’