Israel Prevents Cancer Patients from Leaving Gaza for Treatment

Palestinian cancer patients are not allowed to leave Gaza for treatment. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

Israel has prevented cancer patients who urgently need to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment since the start of the latest military offensive on the besieged enclave. Crossings with Gaza have been closed since May 10, especially the Beit Hanoun (Eretz) Crossing, which is used by pedestrians rather than goods.

The Washington Post has reported that doctors, families, and human rights advocates are urging the Israeli authorities to reopen the border crossings for medical cases, at least, before the most vulnerable patients become critically ill and die.

Israel said last week that Gaza patients with exit permits would be allowed to cross Beit Hanoun Crossing for treatment, adding that it will also allow humanitarian teams, medical equipment, food and fuel to enter the coastal territory.

However, Israeli, Palestinian and international rights groups have reported complaints from Palestinian patients that they are not allowed to pass through the Israeli-controlled crossing.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Hussein Najjar, a fisherman from southern Gaza, said that his 61-year-old mother has grown weak and depressed since missing her regular chemotherapy treatment in East Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital. She is suffering from colorectal and lung cancer.

“Even if we get an appointment today, we don’t know when the crossing will be open and she will be able to go,” said Najjar. “She’s looking for a way to survive, and we can’t find it.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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