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Israel ban on Gaza importing medical equipment condemned by rights group 

A Palestinian patient undergoes kidney dialysis at al-Shifa hospital during the continuing crisis of power outages, in Gaza city on 28 August, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
A Palestinian patient receives medical care at a hospital in Gaza city on 28 August 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Israel's ban on Gaza importing urgently-needed medical equipment has been condemned by Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights. The group said on Wednesday that most of the medical equipment banned lately is needed for diagnostic purposes, including testing for Covid-19 and other illnesses.

This is nothing new. "The Israeli occupation authorities have been blocking the entry of urgent medical equipment to Gaza hospitals for ten years," Al-Mezan pointed out. "However, the ongoing ban on such equipment complicates the deteriorating health sector in Gaza and undermines the work of medical staff."

In the latest case, said Al-Mezan, Israel has blocked the import of 14 X-ray machines which are needed urgently by Gaza's hospitals. Of the 22 machines in Gaza already, it added, eight no longer work because regular maintenance has not been possible due to the ban on spare parts imposed by Israel.

The health sector in Gaza has deteriorated throughout the Israeli-led siege in place since 2007. Al-Mezan called on the international community to bear its legal responsibility and move immediately to push Israel to end the siege before it is too late.

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