Palestinian cancer patient denied travel dies in Gaza
Hasan Ahmed ‘Abed al-Kharti, 62, died at the end of May while suffering from tongue and throat cancer. He was one of several Gazans to die of illnesses that were due to be treated in Jerusalem.
Al-Kharti had obtained a medical referral for treatment at the al-Makassed Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, and the Health Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison Department applied for a travel permit on May 27, 2021. Israeli authorities rejected his travel application, and three days later he died.
Israeli authorities closed the Beit Hanoun ‘Erez’ crossing on 11 May, when the Israeli offensive on Gaza began, banning all modes of travel including patients who were referred to treatment outside of the annexed Strip.
Following the end to Israeli attacks on Gaza, the Israeli authorities declared that they will allow only those needing urgent, "lifesaving" care to travel via the crossing, however local reports on the ground say Israel has denied dozens of permit requests applied by the Health Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison Department.
These patients have serious diseases whose treatments are not available in hospitals in the impoverished Gaza Strip - many of which were destroyed by Israeli attacks in its latest offensive on the enclave.
Israeli authorities gave travel permits to just 13 patients out of the 191 requests between 25 and 30 May 2021, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
There are some 8,700 cancer patients who are prevented from traveling to receive or complete treatment abroad, and there is "a real concern over the deterioration of cancer patients' health conditions and the lives of dozens of them, especially if they cannot travel immediately to complete their treatment protocols," PCHR wrote.
The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has destroyed much of the healthcare system and increased the burden on the medical crews.
The death toll of the Israeli aggression has risen to 247, including 66 children and 39 women while the number of injuries has risen to 1417, including 277 children and 412 women.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH), hospitals and medical centres in the Gaza Strip currently suffer from a serious shortage of 45% of the essential drugs list, and 33% of medical consumables, and 56% of laboratory products and blood banking supplies.