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Israel bans delivery of anaesthesia gas to Gaza hospitals

File photo of Palestinian doctors performing a surgery at the Abu Yousef Al Najjar hospital in Rafah city, Gaza Strip, on April,15, 2012 [Eyad Al Baba / ApaImages]
File photo of Palestinian doctors performing a surgery at the Abu Yousef Al Najjar hospital in Rafah city, Gaza Strip, on April,15, 2012 [Eyad Al Baba / ApaImages]

Israel has banned anaesthetic gas from entering the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed yesterday.

This is the third time that the occupation has prevented Nitrous Oxide (nitrox) gas, which is used for patients during surgery, from entering the besieged enclave, the ministry’s spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qidra, said. The ban means a number of urgent medical procedures have now been halted, he explained.

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There are currently 200 patients awaiting urgent medical treatment in Gaza’s hospitals, Al-Qidra said.

In addition, he said, their healthcare sector in Gaza needs more than 4,000 kilogrammes of Nitrous Oxide each year, noting that the Israeli occupation rations the entry of the gas.

He urged international organisations to put pressure on the Israeli occupation in order to resume the entry of the vital gas to allow surgical operations to continue.

UPDATE: Following international pressure, Israel has allowed a shipment of nitrous oxide into Gaza, but then closed the Kerem Shalom crossing for all other imports to and exports from Gaza.

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