Despite the recent claims by Israel that they have "eased" the siege on Gaza , vital medical supplies and equipment are still prohibited from entering the besieged region. In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Israel blocked the delivery of essential medical equipment, including a CT scanner, defibrillators and monitors.

In addition, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines, donated by a Norwegian development agency, and refused to allow delivery of x-ray machines, claiming they could be used for military purposes.

As a result, there is a critical shortage of vital medicines and essential life saving equipment. Other supplies are expected to run out this summer, harming chronic disease sufferers the most.

In addition, only 30 percent of the medical aid, sent to Gaza after the last Israeli military offensive 19 months ago, was used at hospitals and medical aid centres. This was due to the fact that there was a surplus supply of certain medical supplies, and other medical supplies were out of date.

Another significant problem is an over-supply of bulky items like cotton wool which requires expensive storage, and the disposal of waste medical supplies in an area where rubbish disposal is a major issue.

In the light of this, Viva Palestina is working closely with the Ministery of Health in Gaza and independent medical organizations to accurately identify the kind and quantity of medical supplies that Gaza actually needs. We intend to bring a wide range of these vital medical supplies and equipment on board the upcoming convoy. These urgently required supplies will go a long way in helping to ease the suffering of so many in Gaza .

Viva Palestina are appealing for people to donate towards the cost of these medical equipment and supplies. People can donate via the web site at:

Alternatively, if people have access to medical aid that they can donate, please contact us via email at: Please send a detailed list of this aid, and if it is on the required list, we will arrange collection.

We also need dedicated volunteers to join us on our next convoy to Gaza, leaving on September 18th 2010. If you can raise money to help the people of Gaza, we want to hear from you. Please visit the Viva Palestina 5 website