Dozens of female cancer patients in Gaza began a hunger strike today to protest Israeli authorities' banning them from obtaining travel permits to travel to receive treatment.
During a protest attended by dozens of cancer patients in front of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Gaza this morning, the Aid and Hope Programme for Cancer Patient Care in Gaza condemned senior health official Bassam Al-Badri for humiliating and offending cancer patients.
Al-Badri had previously directed offensive and false accusations against the female cancer patients barred from travelling, claiming they purely sought media attention.
Seham Al-Tatri, one of the cancer patients, stressed the need to follow-up on the patients' affairs and to make it a priority, as well as hold those guilty of negligence accountable.
She also called on the Civil Affairs Ministry to resolve the issue of sick individuals not receiving travel permits, especially cancer patients.
In a statement she read on behalf of the Aid and Hope Programme, Al-Tatri condemned Al-Badri for also accusing the cancer patients of spying and working for the occupation, as well as exploiting the issue of cancer patients.
The protesting cancer patients called for the resignation of Al-Badri and an official apology from the Ministry of Health for the abuse and insult suffered by the seriously ill women.
A large number of these cancer patients announced they were going on hunger strike as of this morning in an attempt to gain the attention of officials and the world and raise the issue of their suffering.
They also aim to pressure the Israeli authorities to allow them to travel abroad and receive the necessary treatment.