Israeli Blockade Claims 344 Gaza Patients

Palestinian sources say 344 patients have so far died post 22-day war against Gaza, because of a lack of medical supplies in the Gaza strip due to an Israeli siege.

The last "martyr of the Israeli siege", according to Palestinian Ministry of Health, is 42 year-old Omar Ata Allah Al-Sha’er from Rafah city in the south of the Gaza Strip.

With the death of Al-Sha’er, the number of Palestinians to have died because of the Israeli siege imposed on the impoverished region since June 2007 now stands at 344.

The document provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health shows that Al-Sha’er suffered from chronic kidney failure and his health deteriorated while Israeli authorities disallowed him from traveling to receive treatment abroad, although he had the necessary papers for travel.

The Palestinian Ministry appealed to exercise pressure on Israel; in order to lift its siege and end the suffering of hundreds of patients who desperately need treatment in hospitals abroad.

Meanwhile, a 34-page report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, released Saturday, urged Tel Aviv to lift the blockade of Gaza and restrictions on the strip.

Pillay harshly criticized Israel for the violations "compounded by the blockade that the population of Gaza endured in the months prior to Operation Cast Lead and which continues."

Some 1,400 Palestinians, including more than 900 civilians, were killed during the Israeli war on Gaza, according to Gaza health officials and human rights groups.

(Press TV)

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