In post-pullout Gaza the sick pay the price: Palestinian Gaza residents suffering from illness are not receiving proper treatment in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the area, according to a report issued by the Physicians for Human Rights organization.
Hundreds of sick Gazans have been left untreated and trapped in the Strip and are waiting for its gates to open, the report says.
“The closure imposed by Israel on Gaza since the beginning of the pullout prevents entry into Israel or passage through Israel into the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The border with Egypt is also closed until further notice and it is not clear when it will open,” the report charges.
The organization claims that “The occupied territories are one unit. Israel has obligated itself to maintaining them as such under the Oslo Agreements. Therefore, it is Impossible that passing through Israel requires the same conditions that must be met in order to enter Israel.
“In addition, Israel cannot say that its leaving Gaza ends the state of occupation, as long as it is present in the other occupied territories,” the report adds.
“As long as Israel influences the policy of passage from Gaza and into it, it is fully responsible for what is happening in Gaza and for the people rotting inside of it”, the organization added.
Unable to receive chemotherapy
The doctors noted that cancer patients who used to receive treatment in Israel nowadays hardly receive permits allowing them to reach the hospitals. Only seven out of 40 patient requests to enter Israel for treatment in the last two weeks have been approved.
The organization added that 40-50 patients usually leave for Egypt in order to receive treatments that are not provided in Gaza. However, since the day Egypt closed the border and until now not one person has left (excluding those patients who succeeded in crossing the border the day it was opened.)
The organization argued that “The attempt to prevent us, as an Israeli human rights organization, from criticizing the functioning of Israeli authorities is against Israeli administrative law. We are talking about the right to receive medical treatments and to live.”
“Israel must publish the wording of its agreement with Egypt regarding the passage from Gaza to Egypt and vice versa and reveal the extent of its influence on the ability to pass freely through this border,” the doctors said.
“Israel must cease its involvement in (affairs related to) entry and exit from Gaza, as the continuation of this involvement constitutes the continuation of the occupation. In the present situation Israel must allow passage in general, and the passage of patients and medical crews in particular through the Erez Crossing”, the doctors concluded.