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Gaza cancer patients suffer double pains, health official warns

Palestinian cancer patients take part in a protest to demand travel for treatment as Israeli authorities often refuse [Mohammed Asad/Midle East Monitor]
Palestinian cancer patients take part in a protest to demand travel for treatment as Israeli authorities often refuse [Mohammed Asad/Midle East Monitor]

Cancer patients in the Gaza Strip suffer double pains as a result of their illness and the siege which makes treatment complex, the director of Al-Shifa Hospital has said.

Dr Mohammed Abu Silmiyeh said yesterday that "patients are encircled with many hard and complex crises that undermine their right to proper treatment."

"They are subject to the restrictions of the Israeli siege imposed on their movement, and they are suffering from the consequences of their cancer. They suffer double pains."

Abu Silmiyeh said that cancer patients cannot receive proper treatment in Gaza due to the lack of medicines, and many cannot travel to receive treatment in the Palestinian hospitals in the occupied West Bank or Israeli hospitals.

He stated that more than 35 per cent of cancer patients wait for months to see if Israeli occupation authorities will issue them permits to travel for treatment.

"Delay of receiving proper treatment means that cancer patients suffer from complications that often lead to their death," he said.

The official called for the national and international bodies concerned with the issue of human rights and the rights to medical treatment to move urgently and put pressure on the Israeli occupation in order to remove its "illegal measures" targeting cancer patients.

READ: Gaza flour mills ground down by Russian-Ukraine conflict

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