Cancer patients in Gaza face a “slow death” as the occupation continues to deprive them of treatment

 “Um Hamza” (41 years), from the Al-Nasr neighborhood in Gaza City, is suffering a lot on the physical and psychological levels, as a result of her cancer more than 4 years ago, and her health condition doubles her repeated deprivation By the occupation intelligence to allow her to leave the Gaza Strip to receive treatment in hospitals in the West Bank or the occupied interior.


Umm Hamza’s cancer was discovered after it had penetrated her body and had become in advanced and dangerous stages, which makes her vulnerable to losing her life at any time, but she still clings to the hope of obtaining effective and permanent treatment without obstacles, to give her greater hope of recovery and recovery.


"Um Hamza", who preferred not to be named, said during an interview with " ے" , that she went more than once for treatment in several hospitals in the West Bank and inside, and on a few occasions she was allowed by the occupation to leave the Gaza Strip through the Beit Hanoun "Erez" checkpoint, and in More times, it was banned under the pretext of a security ban by Israeli intelligence officers.


She pointed to the great suffering incurred by Gaza patients during their movement to and from the West Bank and inside through the Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint, noting that before they allow or prevent the entry of any of the patients through the checkpoint, they (i.e. patients) are forced to wait for up to 6 hours. Or 8 in some cases, in order to allow them to pass, or to return them to Gaza, and most of them are summoned by intelligence officers for interrogation.


Umm Hamza says that about 9 months ago she was summoned to the Erez checkpoint, and she waited for about 4 hours as she moved between the waiting room at one time and the room of the Israeli intelligence officer at other times, in the hope that she would be allowed to leave the Strip to undergo a new treatment trip. After waiting for more hours, the officer told her to return to the Strip, depriving her of a real opportunity to obtain treatment.


And the occupation authorities deliberately prevent the issuance of any permits for patients from Gaza before asking them for an interview at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, while before they were granted permits to agree to go to the West Bank or elsewhere after a security check it conducts without the need to present them for an interview with an Israeli intelligence officer.


According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, during the year 2021, the occupation authorities deprived 36% of cancer patients referred for treatment outside the Gaza Strip, which causes serious complications that threaten the lives of patients.


Yesterday, Friday, February 4, coincided with the International Day of Cancer Patients, and “Umm Hamza” says: “On this day, we have the right to ask about our right to obtain treatment, and about the role of the world in stopping the injustice that we are subjected to by the occupation, which deliberately We are growing slowly.”


According to the Human Rights Center, the rate of cancer deaths in the Gaza Strip is (9.4) of the total deaths for the year 2020, and breast cancer is the most common and ranks first among female cancers, while colon cancer is the most common and ranks first among males.


According to previous statistics of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 52.5% of new cancer cases registered among Palestinians are females, and 47.5% are males.


About 180 cases of cancer are recorded each month in the Gaza Strip, and the number of those infected is currently about 12 thousand patients.


Al-Mizan Center said that cancer patients in the Gaza Strip face real risks due to the Israeli restrictions and the policy of delaying that prevents them from reaching hospitals.


The center called on the international community to intervene in order to stop the restrictions imposed on the right of Palestinians to receive appropriate health care, and to ensure the patients’ access to hospitals, calling on specialized agencies and organizations to provide all forms of support to the Palestinian health sector so that it can provide health services to cancer patients, and the need to address shortages and weaknesses in the health sector.


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