Gaza Ministry of Health: Israeli Blockade Caused 3,000 Cancer Deaths

A Palestinian cancer patient at the Qalandia military checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the besieged Gaza Strip said on Friday that the Israeli blockade on the enclave has led to the death of 3,000 cancer patients, the Middle East Monitor reported.

“The ministry is making a great effort to … address the environmental factors that cause many diseases resulting from pollution, such as cancer, respiratory diseases and strokes,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it is also working to mitigate the impact of the blockade on treatment.

On Thursday, to mark World Health Day, the ministry launched a global appeal to enhance health and environmental factors in Gaza, and develop health services provided to patients, especially those battling cancer and blood diseases.

“The Israeli occupation and its continuous siege of more than 15 years have turned the Gaza Strip into a geographic spot infected with the causes of environmental pollution, and put many challenges ahead of the health system,” it added.

According to the statement, Israel deprives patients of 47 percent of essential medicines, 21 percent of medical consumables, and 60 percent of laboratory supplies.

“Forty percent of patients were denied permission to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment, which caused the death of hundreds of them during the 15 years of siege,” the statement continued.

On March 25, Fatima Al-Masri, a 19-month-old Palestinian baby died in Gaza, after waiting five months for Israel to grant her permission to leave the besieged Strip for treatment.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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