54 Palestinian patients die in 2017 awaiting Israeli medical permit
Fifty four Palestinians from Gaza Strip, 46 of whom had cancer, died in 2017 following denial or delay of their medical permits by Israeli occupation authorities, according to a joint statement by 5 human rights organizations.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said that Israel pointed to the gradual decline in Israel’s issuance of medical permits, noting that Israel approved only 54 percent of applications for medical permits in 2017, the least since 2008.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Israel has increasingly restricted travel even for “exceptional humanitarian cases.” In 2017, travel via Erez crossing was less than 1 percent of the travel recorded in September 2000.
Palestinians from Gaza missed at least 11,000 scheduled medical appointments in 2017 after Israeli occupation authorities denied or failed to respond in time to applications for permits. Research by Al Mezan, supported by MAP, into the cases of 20 Palestinians who died after missing hospital appointments due to denied or delayed travel permits found that 14 had cancer, nine of whom were women.
The three Israeli military offensives on Gaza since 2008 have also taken a heavy toll on essential infrastructure and further debilitated Gaza’s health system and economy. In light of the control Israel effectively exercises over the lives and welfare of the people of Gaza, Israel continues to maintain ultimate responsibility to ensure their well-being under the law of occupation, as the ICRC and UN, among others, have recognized.
Source: Jordan News Agency