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Doctors: 'Severe Crisis' in Gaza, 44 Dead Since July Closings
Annapolis Meant Little for Dying Gazans Being Denied Medical Care by Israel


Residents in Gaza in need of medical care are facing a "severe crisis" with forty-four Palestinan deaths due to Israeli border closures and denial of medical care since July. With Gaza all but ignored during Annapolis, only rights groups are making a dent in letting the world know what is going on in the open air prison known as the Gaza Strip. According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the situation in Gaza has reached very serious proportions and they are making an appeal to be allowed into Gaza to "document" the true extent of medical necessity cases being left untreated (...) Wouldn't it have meant a great deal if Ehud Olmert openly proclaimed at Annapolis that medical patients from Gaza would no longer be denied care by his government that occupies every nook and cranny of Gazans lives?...

[38740]



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Doctors: 'Severe Crisis' in Gaza, 44 Dead Since July Closings
Annapolis Meant Little for Dying Gazans Being Denied Medical Care by Israel

BBSNews

cancer_patient_laila_elewah.sized.jpg

Palestinian cancer patient Laila Elewah taking part in a protest as she is not being allowed to get into an Israeli hospital for medication.
Image Credit: Mohammed Omer, Rafah Today 2007-11-11.



Thursday, November 29 2007

BBSNews 2007-11-29 -- Residents in Gaza in need of medical care are facing a "severe crisis" with forty-four Palestinan deaths due to Israeli border closures and denial of medical care since July. With Gaza all but ignored during Annapolis, only rights groups are making a dent in letting the world know what is going on in the open air prison known as the Gaza Strip.

According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the situation in Gaza has reached very serious proportions and they are making an appeal to be allowed into Gaza to "document" the true extent of medical necessity cases being left untreated. In an unusual emergency appeal PHR said:

"The prolonged siege imposed by the Israeli government on Gaza, the closing of its borders, the tightening of policies regarding permission to exit Gaza for medical purposes, and the severe shortage of medications and other medical supplies all severely damage the Palestinian health system and endanger the lives and health of thousands of Palestinian patients ...

... According to the records of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza and the World Health Organisation (WHO), 44 people have died since June 2007 in connection with denial or delay of access to medical care by the Israeli authorities. Thirteen of these patients died in November alone. The number of deaths is rising each month, as the policy of siege tightens."

The group is seeking to enter Gaza to provide emergency aid and document the increasingly dire medical crisis and also to advocate for those who are being told they must be interrogated for information about family members to get medical care from the Israeli's in return. PHR said one urgent goal is to represent:

"... dozens of patients applying to our offices each month, whose access to Israel or passage through it for purposes of medical care is denied for 'security reasons;' a campaign against the policies of the General Security Service (GSS, shabac) whereby patients are compelled to inform on others as a condition for permission to access medical care. These campaigns will be implemented using litigation and media, targeting Israeli and international audiences."

Medicine and Supplies Also Denied

PHR-Israel also said it seeks to bring emergency supplies to Gaza because the seige is leaving stocks of medicine and supplies woefully inadequate:

"Hospitals and medical centers in Gaza suffer a severe shortage in medicines and medical supplies that are essential to minimal functioning of the health system. According to data collected by the WHO, 85 types of medicines defined as essential are out of stock, including medicines for cancer, heart conditions, kidney disease, as well as 12 different types of medicines for psychiatric conditions. 138 other types of medicines will be out of stock within a period ranging between one and three months ...

... The hospitals in Gaza suffer severe shortage in medical equipment and supplies in a manner damaging to their ability to provide emergency and routine services, the need for which is rising due to the growing daily needs of the patient population. According to Palestinian MoH data, the shortage in medical equipment is felt in all the hospitals in Gaza, due to inability to maintain the equipment, which is in need of spare parts. Malfunctioning and missing equipment includes dialysis machines, laboratory equipment, cardiology equipment and test tubes."

According to the organization even the most basic of supplies are running out with little hope of replacement:

"... cleaning materials, parts for electric generators, parts for refrigerators, parts for washing machines, toilet paper, sheets, winter bedclothes, stationary, paper and more. Although these materials are quickly running out, the State of Israel is preventing their entry, claiming that they are not considered part of the humanitarian needs which it publicly undertook to meet."

Wouldn't it have meant a great deal if Ehud Olmert openly proclaimed at Annapolis that medical patients from Gaza would no longer be denied care by his government that occupies every nook and cranny of Gazans lives? Instead the status quo lives on and the Israeli nurtured Hamas continues to strengthen. If the goal of the "photo-op" in Annapolis was to weaken extremism, surely there is a better way then leaving people to die for lack of medical care at closed border crossings under a "security" pretense by Israel.

How much of a threat does a cancer patient pose to the state of Israel? What possible reason is there to prevent medical necessities from reaching Gaza residents? How much worse will it get in early December when threatened electricity cut-offs are scheduled to begin?


:: Article nr. 38740 sent on 30-nov-2007 00:47 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=38740

Link: bbsnews.net/article.php/20071129165754776



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