On World Health Day, Al Mezan condemns Israel’s policy of health apartheid against Palestinians in Gaza (EN/AR) – Occupied Palestinian Territory

On World Health Day, Al Mezan condemns Israel’s policy of health apartheid against Palestinians in Gaza (EN/AR) – Occupied Palestinian Territory


Today, April 7, marks World Health Day. Health, both physical and mental, is a fundamental human right. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health means that every individual should have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without suffering financial hardship. However, for the more than two million Palestinians in Gaza living under Israeli apartheid, the reality is quite different.

Gaza’s healthcare system – perpetually on the brink of collapse due to Israel’s complete shutdown policies and repeated military attacks – is forcing cancer patients and seriously ill patients to leave the Strip to seek specialist surgeries, l diagnostic imaging, cardiology or other medical treatment otherwise unavailable in Gaza.

In order to access quality and sometimes life-saving health services unavailable in Gaza, Palestinian patients are forced to rely on Israel’s capricious and discriminatory licensing regime, an oppressive tool deliberately used to restrict freedom of movement. patients.

Al Mezan is closely monitoring the situation of stranded Palestinian patients as part of its efforts to facilitate their access to health care outside the Gaza Strip. Our data indicates that in 2022, 33% of patient exit permit requests and 62% of patient companion requests were either denied, delayed or left unanswered by Israeli authorities, leading to serious health complications and forcing 25% of patients left Gaza without their companions.

At the same time, the Israeli authorities continue to obstruct the entry into the Gaza Strip of medical devices and equipment, as well as spare parts needed to repair obsolete or damaged medical devices. This leads to major gaps in programs and initiatives aimed at localizing Gaza’s health services as well as the deterioration of basic health determinants such as food, shelter and clean water. The shortage of medicines and medical supplies, especially for oncological diseases, persists. In March 2023, the General Administration of Pharmacy of the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 246 medicines (47% of the list of essential medicines) were at zero stock, including 26 of the 63 essential medicines for cancer and diseases of the brain. blood.

The realization of the right to health of Palestinians in Gaza requires an end to Israel’s violations and discriminatory measures and policies that are part of its apartheid regime against the Palestinian people as a whole, as well as an end to restrictions on the freedom of movement for patients and their companions and on the entry of medical supplies and equipment. The first steps include urging Israel to immediately and unconditionally lift the illegal closure and blockade of Gaza, end its discriminatory policy of denying and delaying patient requests, and allow and facilitate the passage of all devices , medical equipment and supplies to the band.

On the occasion of World Health Day 2023, Al Mezan also calls on the relevant Palestinian authorities to intensify their efforts to localize health services, develop Gaza’s health sector, rehabilitate health infrastructure, especially in oncology services, increase operating expenses, provide adequate drugs and medical necessities to patients. , especially cancer patients, and increase the level of coordination between the health administrations of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Finally, Al Mezan urges international organizations to continue supporting Gaza’s health sector to enable it to provide adequate health services to the population and to provide humanitarian support to ensure that Palestinians enjoy their right to health.

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