5 Palestinian cancer patients in Gaza died in 2022 due to Israel's restrictions on movement
Five Palestinian cancer patients died in the 15-year besieged coastal enclave since the beginning of 2022 due to Israel's restrictions on movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a local human rights centre said on Wednesday.
"The five Palestinian patients, including three children, died because they were not granted the necessary permits for treatment in hospitals outside the Gaza Strip," the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said in a press statement sent to The New Arab.
"The Israeli authorities impose strict restrictions on the patients' movement who need to pass the Erez crossing to get their treatment in the hospitals in the West Bank, Jerusalem or even Israel," the PCHR said.
As a result, the statement says, some patients die because they did not receive the suitable medicine at the time needed for their treatment.
On 5 September, Mohammed Al-Ledawi, a Rafah-based young man, died because he was denied access to the Patients' Friends Association Hospital in Nablus and Al-Mutla Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment after he applied for a transit permit eight times in a row, the human rights centre said.
32-year-old Al-Ledawi suffered from lymphoma cancer and due to the lack of necessary treatment in hospitals in the Gaza Strip, he received a referral from the Palestinian Ministry of Health to complete his treatment in the West Bank, the centre noted.
👉🏾Reminder: Israel’s settler-colonial closure of #Gaza serves to deny Palestinians their fundamental right to health + other human rights, and is part of its regime of oppression, domination, & discrimination against the Palestinian people which = #apartheid#EndIsraeliApartheid https://t.co/WJMN1w2Z9q— Al Mezan – الميزان (@AlMezanCenter) September 7, 2022
PCHR pointed out that Al-Ledawi submitted several requests for a permit to pass the Erez crossing, but his attempts to pass were unsuccessful.
PCHR considered that the system of processing permit requests, imposed by the Israeli security authorities on the passage of Palestinian patients to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip is "a form of segregation and racial discrimination and threatens the lives of patients, as it includes delays, refusals and restrictions on their freedom of movement, and it contradicts international laws."
The PCHR called on the international community to assume its legal responsibilities for the Palestinian population and compel Israel to respect the provisions of international law, end the siege of Gaza and stop its ongoing violations of the rights of patients.
On 31 August, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza launched a campaign to "rescue Gaza patients" and end Israel's restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinian patients.
"About 2,000 patients whose cases were documented were denied access to hospitals in the West Bank and Jerusalem on time due to Israel's procrastination in issuing permits to them," Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman of the health ministry, told The New Arab.
Because of the Israeli blockade, he stressed that the government hospitals in Gaza face a shortage of 50% of essential medicines, 32% of medical consumables, and 60% of laboratory and blood bank supplies.
The majority of patients from the Gaza Strip depend on hospitals in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as Israel, to receive treatment and perform operations not available in the coastal enclave.