Published on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 by Reuters
World Aid Agencies Appeal to
by Nidal al-Mughrabi
A child carries a banner during a rally, protesting against
Hejji, 18, was promised an entry permit three times. Three days after she died last November, her family got a call to say the hospital had set the date for her admission.
One year after
They again called on
Max Gaylard, resident Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the blockade undermines the local health care system and puts lives at risk.
"It is causing on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health," he said. "It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions getting timely specialized treatment..."
"Not only are we doing our utmost to allow the people of Gaza every possible medical treatment, but we are doing this in a situation in which their own government is imposing a state of war and trying deliberately to harm Israelis, including those whose mission is to assist the very people of Gaza," said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry.
"Not taking this into account is to do a great disservice to truth and the cause of caring for the health of
Hejji had hoped to get life-saving treatment in
"In her (Hejji's) last days she used to ask when she could rest, and when all her pain would come to an end," said her mother Shadia. "I knew she was dying."
Hamas remains in control despite the hammering
The U.N. report said 1,103 patients sought permits for treatment in
"Two patients died recently while awaiting referral - one in November and one in December," it said. In total, "27 patients have died while awaiting referral" in 2009.
WATCH THE CROSSINGS
"Whenever I heard
The U.N. said
"The humanitarian community is gravely concerned about the future of this generation whose health needs are not being met. The decline in infant mortality, which has occurred steadily over recent decades, has stalled in the last few years."
Israel's offensive damaged 15 of Gaza's 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care facilities, the report said.
Some 1,400 Palestinians died in the bombing and shelling, and
The damage cannot be fixed until
"The new surgical wing in
Nafeth Enaeem, head of Shifa's kidney department, said dialysis treatments had to be carefully rationed last year, which he said was the worst in terms of health conditions.
"Sometimes a cable for a machine took three months of coordination with the Israeli side to get into
(Additional reporting by Douglas Hamilton; editing by Douglas Hamilton and Samia Nakhoul)
© 2010 Reuters
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/20-2