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Israeli NGO warns of worsening health conditions in Gaza

Image of a truck loaded with aid parcels in Gaza [Abed Rahim Khatib/Apaimages]
A truck loaded with aid parcels in Gaza [Abed Rahim Khatib/Apaimages]

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) yesterday demanded medicines and all basic needs of the people of the Gaza Strip be allowed entry into the besieged enclave, warning that the health and living conditions there are deteriorating.

The people of Gaza have become prisoners of war in the political game between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel

said Ran Goldstein, PHRI director-general.

He demanded the immediate transfer of funds, medicines, power supplies and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

In a report, the organisation said: "240 children and hundreds of cancer patients and cystic fibrosis patients do not receive treatment because the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah refuses to send budgets to the Health Ministry in Gaza."

According to the report, the Gaza Strip today lacks one-third of the vital medicines it needs and more than 270 medical devices for operating rooms and emergency treatment.

"The main victims of the crisis are 321 cystic fibrosis patients, the majority of whom are children, cancer patients, and about 240 children who have developmental problems and need therapeutic milk," it added.

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"Over the past few months, the Palestinian Authority has reduced its budget to the Gaza Strip, including the health and medicine budget".

According to the Israeli organisation the budget initially amounted to $4 million, but fell in April to $2.3 million, and in May to only half a million dollars.

The Ministry of Health in Ramallah has been refusing for the past two months to send medicines donated by donor countries to the Gaza Strip.

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