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RAFAH, GAZA - APRIL 23: Palestinian cyclist Alaa Al-Daly, who lost his leg by a bullet fired by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border in a demonstration within "Great March of Return", stands next to his bicycle, at his home in Rafah, Gaza on April 23, 2018. Daly is no longer able to ride the bicycle given as a gift by President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September 2016. Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency

UN: Health funding gap threatens 1,700 in Gaza with amputations

A lack of sufficient health funding in Gaza means 1,700 people shot by Israeli security forces may have to undergo amputations in the next two years, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, told reporters on Wednesday.

McGoldrick said 29,000 Palestinians had been wounded in protests in the past year, and 7,000 of them had gunshot wounds, mostly in the lower legs.

“You’ve got 1,700 people who are in need of serious, complicated surgeries for them to be able to walk again,” McGoldrick said.

“These are people who have been shot during the demonstrations and who are in need of rehabilitation, and very, very serious and complex bone reconstruction surgery over a two year period before they start to rehabilitate themselves.”

Without those procedures, all these people are at risk of undergoing amputations, he affirmed.

The UN is seeking $20 million to fill the gap in health spending in the besieged coastal enclave.