Five female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip died in August after Israeli occupation forces refused them access to treatment outside the besieged Strip, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) reported.
The UK-based NGO said this makes August the deadliest month on record. One more cancer patient has died since.
According to MAP, 30 people have already died this year after being prevented from leaving the Gaza Strip to access medical treatment. Fourteen were cancer patients.
“Denying women access to potentially life-saving treatment is indefensible”, said Aimee Shalan, CEO of MAP, “and underlines both the severity of the humanitarian emergency in Gaza and the urgent need for man-made barriers to accessing healthcare to be lifted.”
According to the World Health Organisation, the five women who died in August were aged between 26 and 53 years old. Two suffered from colon cancer, one from ovarian cancer, one from breast cancer and one from a rare cancer known as a primitive neuroectodermal tumour.
Since August, a 53-year-old woman with breast cancer also died after she was prevented from accessing treatment outside Gaza. There are very likely additional deaths not recorded by the WHO or MAP.
Israel as the occupying power and all other duty-bearers must remove barriers to accessing medical treatment. As these tragic deaths emphasise, this should begin with ending the decade-long blockade and closure of Gaza
The six women cancer patients known to have died after being prevented from accessing treatment outside of Gaza are Faten Ahmed, Kaenat Jaa’rur, Nadia Hamad, Itimad Rabi’e, Muna Al-Aila and Ibtesam Nabhan.