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Aid groups warn Gaza situation is dire -

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SCOTT BEVAN, PRESENTER: With no immediate end in sight to Israel's offensive, aid groups fear a
dire humanitarian crisis - with water, food and medical supplies already running low.

One Australian inside the danger zone is Colin Watson, a nurse working in Gaza with the
international medical relief group, Médecins Sans Frontières.

I spoke with Colin Watson by phone a short while ago.

Colin Watson, you're working in a clinic in Gaza, tell us about the conditions there? What are you
dealing with?

COLIN WATSON, NURSE, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES: Unfortunately, our clinic has been closed since the
beginning of this military operation, so the security situation has not made it possible for us to
open the clinic.

We opened for one day on the 1st of January and had to evacuate the clinic after two hours, because
of bombardment.

SCOTT BEVAN: You say you're near the front line, tell us about the environment in which you're
working and just how intense has it been for you?

COLIN WATSON: The environment in Gaza and Gaza City and also in the north in Jabaliah and Bedlahiah
(phonetic) is very much an urban environment. It's very highly densely populated. A lot of
overcrowding, which makes life very difficult for people in normal circumstances, but in these
circumstances, life is just a lot more difficult for the civilian population.

SCOTT BEVAN: Israel has said there is no humanitarian crisis, is that how you see it? It's very,
very difficult to quantify what constitutes a humanitarian crisis. Certainly, there was some
limited humanitarian supplies that crossed the border earlier this week. Certainly not enough to
meet the needs of the population at the moment.

But the problem in Gaza at the moment is the distribution and movement. The security situation is
so bad that it's not possible to move people and equipment and medicines to the areas that they're
needed.

There are certainly shortages. Some areas are experiencing shortages of water and there are
certainly some shortages in some food items. I've witnessed particularly in the north, very long
lines of people queuing to buy bread. So there are problems that this population is experiencing.

SCOTT BEVAN: And Colin Watson, while they're not getting through to you, are you hearing that there
are patients out there, there are civilians in dire need of treatment?

COLIN WATSON: This is certainly what we're hearing that there are a lot of injured people who are
just remaining in the homes and it's only the severely injured who are actually getting to the
hospitals.

SCOTT BEVAN: How concerned are you for your own safety?

COLIN WATSON: It's something that I don't give a lot of thought to. We are very busy here. We are
maintaining fairly high activity levels. We are liaising with two of the main hospitals in the Gaza
Strip, assessing their needs.

We've made significant donations of medical equipment and medicines yesterday. We are equipping all
our medical staff with first aid kits. So we are kept fairly busy and not dwelling too much on our
own personal safety.

SCOTT BEVAN: Colin Watson, thanks for your time, and keep safe.

COLIN WATSON: Thank you very much.