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How do paramedics in Gaza save lives without a communication network?

The injured, the sick and women giving birth cannot call for help as the 101 hotline no longer works


The Palestinian Red Crescent has warned that Gaza’s emergency service is no longer functioning after phone and internet services were cut off by Israel on Friday evening.

The humanitarian organisation said that its paramedics and rescuers are now relying on their senses to find victims and survivors of Israeli attacks, as they cannot communicate with each other or receive calls for help.

“They are using sight and sound to save people. They have no network, no hotline, no way to know where to go or what to do. They are working in the dark,” Mohammad Al Fityani, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent, told The National from Jerusalem.

He said he lost contact with his team in Gaza on Friday evening, after Israel intensified its bombardment of the besieged Palestinian territory.

According to officials in Gaza, more than 7,703 people, including 3,500 children, have been killed by Israeli air strikes since the war on Gaza began three weeks ago.

Anas Al Deek, a representative of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the occupied West Bank, said he had no information about the situation in Gaza after communications were disrupted.

“It’s not just about some damaged roads that prevent paramedics from reaching their destination. It’s a catastrophe. There is no emergency service in Gaza,” he told The National.

He added that most of the hospitals and clinics in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli attacks, or are running out of resources.

“The health system is collapsing. We don’t know how many people are injured, how
many need urgent care, how many are dying,” he said.

“We have lost contact with our teams in Gaza. The silence is deafening,” the World Food Programme’s executive director Cindy McCain said.

“We are at a tipping point. Humanity must prevail.”


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