A senior Palestinian health official says the lives of at least 400 people are at risk as funds required for kidney dialysis medications in the besieged Gaza Strip are running out.
"We are suffering from difficulty in procurement of funds required for the [health] ministry’s operating expenses. They are estimated at more than USD 2.5 million a month," the Palestinian Information Center quoted Gaza’s Health Minister, Bassem Naim, as saying on Tuesday.
He added that the Israeli economic blockade is to blame for a critical shortage in spare parts needed to fix failing medical machines.
Israel laid an economic siege on the Gaza Strip in June 2007, after Hamas took control of the enclave.
The Israeli-imposed blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.
Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80 percent and 60 percent, respectively, in the Gaza Strip.
More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the three-week Israeli land, sea and air offensive in the impoverished coastal sliver at the turn of 2009. The offensive also inflicted USD 1.6 billion in damages to the Gazan economy.