YEAR of Gaza protests, leaves lives broken, medical system on brink......

A year ago, Bzzedline AI-Baz's decision to skip work and join tens of thousands at the first day of protests along the Gaza-Israel border nearly cost him his life.

Baz, then 29, said he had been standing a couple of  hundred meters from the border fence for only about a half an hour, when an Israeli sniper's bullet pierced his ;leg.

Five operations and multiple infection later, he is missing a chunk of bone, his leg remains strapped in a metal case and he will likely never walk as before.

''It has been a year that I have been suffering,   there is still pain,'' he said from a clinic run by medical charity Doctors Without Borders [MSF] in Gaza City.

''At night I don't sleep at all. If I had known, I would have stayed at work.''

A year after the start of protests and clashes on the  Gaza - Israel border, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. But beyond those killed thousands of others wounded have been largely forgotten.

There have also been knock-on impacts for the Palestinian territory's already beleaguered health system. Hundreds of those shot remain at risk of infection and amputation, while Israel has turned down most application to leave the strip for treatment.

So stretched are the health care services that thousands of operations for other conditions have been delayed, while doctors who can leave are fleeing the strip, Gazan medics say.

''A full blown escalation would obviously push the system again toward the edge of collapse,'' said Gerald Rockenschaub, the World Health Organization [WHO]  head in the Palestinian territories.  [Agencies]

The sadness of  Gaza operational research and publishing continues.


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