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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
Coping with the Gaza fighting
As the fighting continues in Gaza, two professionals talk about how they are continuing their work amid the worsening security and humanitarian situation.

DR MAHMOUD ASALY, director Kemal Adwan Hospital

Kemal Adwan hospital
The hospital had to clear everyone except critically-ill patients
It has been very difficult to bring injured people to the hospital.

Our ambulances sometimes need to pass through six or seven checkpoints set up by the gunmen.

The gunmen then search the vehicles. Even if someone is dying in the back of the ambulance they continue the search - they don't care if the casualty dies.

The gunmen have even seized two of our ambulances and their crews.

At the beginning of the fighting the hospital was overwhelmed by casualties. There weren't enough beds.

To deal with the situation we discharged all patients in non-critical conditions who could be cared for at home. We only kept critically injured patients in the hospital.

For now, the situation at the hospital is under control. Thankfully, we have enough medicine because we received a big supply before the fighting began.

Most of the hospital's staff live locally so they can get to work.

Only a handful of the staff have not come in because they are afraid of getting caught up in the fighting.

JOHN GING, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency

Unrwa workers
About 30% of Gazans rely on international food aid

After the deaths of two of our employees caught up in the crossfire we have scaled back our operations.

Two other employees have been seriously wounded.

What we are trying to do is insulate our staff from the worst of the fighting.

But we are still providing essential services such as medical services and food distribution.

People depend upon these services now more than ever.

It's very difficult to operate down here at the moment - movement is very restricted.

Two of our five food distribution centres are closed because of the fighting. But we are looking for alternative locations.

We are assessing the security situation, hour by hour, location by location, and reacting to the changes on the ground.

We have an operation centre which helps us monitor the situation.

A number of our locations have been caught in the crossfire and militants have taken positions on the roof of our buildings.

People are very afraid down here.

But because of the bravery of our 9,500 Palestinian staff we are still providing vital services.

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