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June 27 2017


Gaza's cancer patients: 'We are dying slowly' | Palestine | Al Jazeera

“Before the start of the blockade in 2007, Gaza was the centre for medications, said Talha Ahmad, a chemotherapy pharmacist. He now describes his workplace at the hospital as a war zone.

‘I'm fighting everywhere, every day to have the medications required for my patients,’ Ahmad told Al Jazeera.

‘We have a big shortage in basic medications. I'm not talking about new generations of chemotherapy medications; I'm talking about old medications, used 20 years ago in the world. We have a big shortage of them here.’

In August 2016, 17 percent of cancer drugs were at zero stock - less than one month's supply on shelves - according to Medical Aid for Palestinians.

‘I try to tell [my patients], “Your medication is not available,” as gently as possible. It's as if you're telling them, “I will kill you slowly because your medication is not available,”’ Ahmad said.

‘I try to make adaptations to at least give them hope. I say, “It's OK, it will be here next week. This delay will not harm you.” But I believe these patients have the right to have their medication [immediately].’

There have also been reports of extortion of patients as they attempt to reach hospitals a short distance away for life-saving treatment.

Last July, 19-year-old Yousef Younis received a phone call from the Israeli security service after applying for a permit to treat his leukaemia in Jerusalem. They told him that he could cross if he collaborated with them. He refused, and consequently, his permit was denied. His health quickly deteriorated, and he died the next month.

Israel as an occupying force is obligated under international humanitarian law to ensure the Palestinian population's access to medical treatment and to maintain its medical facilities, hospitals and services in the occupied territories.

Gisha [the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement] found that whenever they challenged a denied permit legally or through media work, Israeli authorities would reverse their decision and grant a travel permit. ‘This calls into question the arbitrary and slack decision-making process for assigning a security block in the first place,’ Gisha noted.”


Gaza patients denied right to get treatment abroad | GulfNews.com

“‘This is an inhumane robbery of health. Only patients who cannot be provided with proper treatment in the Gaza Strip are transferred to other hospitals,’ said Dr. Ashraf Al Qedrah, a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry.

Al Qedrah noted that in 2016, more than 60 per cent of the cancer patients from Gaza have been denied the right to exit Gaza to be admitted to hospitals in the 1948 areas.

‘The Health Ministry has submitted more than 26,000 completed requests for patients to exit the Gaza Strip for treatment abroad and the occupation authorities approved only 16,000 requests (61.5 per cent of the total requests) and rejected the others,’ he said.

He said the latest Gazan victim was Mohammad Habib, 8, who died of a serious illness after the Israeli occupation refused to grant one of his relatives a permit to accompany him to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel. Last month, another young man from Gaza, Ahmad Hassan Jameel, 17, also died after the occupation authorities denied him a permit to travel abroad for treatment.”

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June 14 2017


‘Entirely preventable’: Aid agencies blame Yemen blockade, economic collapse for cholera outbreak — RT News

“Calling the situation ‘catastrophic,’ Dominik Stillhart, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Director of Operations, told RT from Yemen that with 11,000 confirmed cases the hospitals he personally visited in the capital, Sana’a, were ‘really struggling to cope,’ with ‘heartbreaking’ scenes of people having to share beds, amid a never-ceasing inflow of new patients.

Stillhart said that that 160 hospitals and other medical facilities have been destroyed, predominantly as the result of bombing by the Saudi-led, Western-backed coalition of Sunni Muslim states that have been attempting to put out a Shia rebellion that began in spring 2015, ‘seriously weakening the health system.’

The ICRC second-in-command also blamed the Saudi-imposed aerial and naval blockade for leading to the famine and poverty that provided a breeding ground for the epidemic, which has resulted in a declaration of a state of emergency.

‘There is a situation where people are not only affected by the direct consequences of conflict, but the economy has been seriously slowed down, because it is very costly to move goods across the country through the different frontlines. Then there is the aerial blockade, and it is difficult to move food into some of the seaports,’ said Stillhart, who insisted that ICRC have ‘repeatedly called on the conflict participants’ to allow full access for humanitarian supplies.

Stillhart estimated that over 17 million Yemenis – two-thirds of the population – require humanitarian assistance, and 10 million are in ‘acute need’ of food aid.

The collapse of the economy has led to civil servants, including public sanitation workers, not being paid for eight months, which has meant that ‘garbage-laden water has been running through the streets of Sana’a when it rains,’ creating the perfect conditions for a disease that has mostly been eliminated even in the developing world, says Sara Tesorieri, Advocacy and Policy Adviser for Norwegian Refugee Council in Yemen.

‘Cholera is preventable. If you have the health systems and the response in place, you can control its spread, but the systems here have just been decimated. And the authorities don’t have the capacity that they had even four months ago to deal with this,’ Tesorieri told RT from Sana’a.

Tesorieri said that international organizations are struggling to overcome the natural difficulties of working in a country that has been carved up by untidy frontlines, but hinted that there has been conscious resistance to allowing aid through – echoing previous expert concerns that civilian starvation and disease are being used as deliberate tactics.

“There is an issue of basically the strangulation of imports. That somewhat affects the aid situation, but more it just affects how great the needs are. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food, so any sort of obstruction of imports of any kind really puts the country at risk,’ said Tesorieri. ‘We do encounter obstacles from authorities as well and we encounter obstacles simply because the fighting continues, and that makes it difficult to reach certain areas.’

“Despite a top UN official calling Yemen ‘the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945,’ and stated efforts by the organization to seek a ceasefire before Ramadan, which starts later this month, Stillhart warned the plight of the country will only deepen in the coming months.

‘My biggest concern is that with no end in sight to the fighting, is that the situation will continue to deteriorate. It is absolutely crucial that the international community pays much more attention to the conflict and finds a resolution. In the absence of a resolution, it is key to respect international humanitarian law,’ he told RT.”

In addition to blatant and direct violence, the Saudis are also clearly trying to starve resistance-held areas of Yemen into submission. 80 percent of Yemen’s food is imported and the Saudi-coalition has imposed an air and sea blockade against the already poorest country in the Arab world. Now they are attempting to retake key port cities millions of Yemenis rely on for food and medical supplies. Their intentions are clear when one takes into account that farms and agricultural areas are also frequent targets for Saudi air strikes.

Any aid (food, medical, or otherwise) from international NGOs must first pass through the Saudi-supported improvised “capital” set up in Aden since Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a is currently under resistance control. Needless to say, the Saudi-backed government in Aden isn’t exactly eager to distribute vital aid to their very enemies. As a result, the resistance coalition aka Ansarullah has condemned the UN’s exponential failure and uselessness to help the people in Yemen who need it most.

The Saudi-led and U.S.-supported coalition against Yemen can only be described as terrorism and at this point it’s bordering on outright genocide. Genocide is a strong word, but it’s hard not to at least consider the term when the Saudis are carrying out deliberate acts of war against Yemen’s Zaydi Shia civilian population and even other Shia areas within Saudi borders.
55,000+ Yemenis Infected With Cholera Due to Blockade and Suspected Bio Weapons (Geopolitics Alert, May 29 2017)

Saudi-led coalition denies Yemen 'blockade'

“‘No, there is no blockade,’coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri told AFP.

‘There is control based on international law... Control is different from blockade, which means that nobody can enter or leave’ the country, he said.

Assiri also spoke of ‘restriction’ and ‘controlled freedom of movement’.

‘If a boat leaves from Djibouti, before reaching Hodeida (port in western Yemen), our forces board the vessel to ensure the cargo is legal and complies with Resolution 2216,’ adopted by the UN Security Council in April 2015 and prohibiting the delivery of arms to the rebels in Yemen, he said.

The coalition, which began its bombing campaign against rebels in Yemen in March 2015 in support of the internationally recognised government, accuses Iran of arming the Huthi insurgents and their allies.

The United States has made similar accusations, but Tehran denies the charges.

Saying that Yemen has been under blockade since March 2015 ‘gives the wrong impression’, Assiri said.

Ships carrying food and medical aid as well as people and goods have reached ‘all ports, including those controlled by the Huthis’ such as Hodeida, he said.

But he acknowledged that only ‘aircraft from humanitarian organisations and the United Nations’ can land or take off from rebel-controlled capital Sanaa.

‘They are the only aircraft that do not undergo inspection,’ he said.

Asked why commercial aircraft from national carrier Yemenia can no longer operate in Sanaa, stranding thousands of civilians, Assiri said this was to ensure passenger safety and that the airline was not used by the rebels to transfer arms.

He said that planes can use the airport in second city Aden which pro-government forces recaptured with the help of the coalition in July 2015.

If the road between Sanaa and Aden is too risky for civilian use, ‘it's because of the Huthis’, he said.”

March 25 2015

I am writing to you from Gaza
I live in the tomb of the alive, that tomb is called Gaza.
— A man from Gaza (via momo33me.tumblr.com)

What is the Gaza blockade?

from momo33me.tumblr.com (Mar. 25 2015):

This is for all those people who do not really know and understand what a Gaza blockade is. Imagine you live in a very small town that is very densely populated and you are not free to come and go as you please, as a result are cut off from friends and family.

From one side you are caged in by a huge wall and on the other side you have the sea of ​​which the waters you do not control and are blocked off by navel ships.

Even the border to Egypt is closed making it impossible for Palestinians to leave.

You are prohibited from trading with anyone outside and there is hardly any work available in town. You are also not permitted to farm or fish which means you are left with little or no source of income making it impossible for you to make ends meet.

If you think that is not bad enough then what about your food supply being controlled by someone else who keeps track of how many calories you need in order to just stay alive. If you still think it’s not that bad then how about being bombarded indiscriminately every 2 to 3 years and even between those years getting the occasional bombarding.

These are the very inhumane circumstances that the Palestinians are forced to live under and expected to not even complain much less retaliate.

Which nation or people in the world would accept being made to live like this against their free will.

Just half an hour from Gaza you have people in Israeli towns and cities that are enjoying life on the beaches, going to the malls, and leisure time a complete contrast to the life that the Palestinians are subjected to.

Now you ask yourself people what would you do if you were forced to live under these harsh circumstances.????

Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

October 11 2014


israelwc: “20 years needed to rebuild homes in Gaza because of Israeli restrictions.”

September 30 2014


September 14 2014

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