Israeli forces have prevented a Palestinian woman suffering from cancer from leaving the blockaded Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing for medical exam at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv.
According to statement from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PHCR) released Monday, 52-year old Nadia al-Bakri, a women’s rights activist in Gaza, has been suffering from breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatment at Sheba Medical Center in 2009.
Doctors recommended that al-Bakri return to the hospital for periodic check-ups as medical equipment necessary for the examinations are not found in hospitals in Gaza.
Despite Sheba Medical Center’s doctors having scheduled several critical medical appointments due to a deterioration in al-Bakri’s health, Israeli forces have continued to prevent her from leaving the Gaza Strip.
The last time al-Bakri was allowed to reach the hospital for a medical checkup was December 27, 2015, according to PCHR. Her most recent appointment was scheduled for September 20.
Israel officials did not reply to a request for comment on the issue, however, a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz in July said that an official from Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, told al-Bakri that she did not meet the criteria for “urgent humanitarian and lifesaving cases,” and evaded her questions when she asked if she was a “security threat” to Israel.
Al-Bakri is a local activist, the Director of the Women’s Affairs Center in Gaza, and a board member of PCHR.