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Palestine appeals for help to save 9,000 cancer patients in Gaza

February 6, 2023 at 10:22 am

Female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip go on hunger strike in protest of an Israeli decision not to allow them to travel through the Erez crossing to seek medical care in Israel [Mohammed Asad/Midle East Monitor]

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza yesterday called on the international community and human rights groups to increase efforts to enhance diagnostic and treatment services for thousands of cancer patients in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

“Around 9,000 cancer patients in Gaza are waiting for necessary treatment,” Health Ministry official Abdul Latif Al-Hajj said in a press conference.

“Gaza’s health system suffers from major gaps in health care for cancer patients, including early detection, diagnostic services, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment,” Al-Hajj said.

He appealed to the international community and human rights institutions “to assume their responsibilities and pressure Israel to allow the movement of patients to hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank for treatment.”

According to the ministry, the number of cancer deaths in Gaza rose 12.5 per cent in 2021, Anadolu reported.

The ministry blames the rise on the Israeli blockade which has left the enclave with a lack of radiotherapy and atomic scanning.

Many patients in Gaza mainly depend on hospitals in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel to receive treatment and perform operations that are not available in the Strip.

READ: Cancer patients in Gaza denied treatment by Israel