News   /   Palestine   /   Editor's Choice

Israel delays exit permits for 50% of Gaza patients: WHO

A Palestinian man suffering from cancer lies at a hospital in Gaza City in the besieged Gaza Strip on April 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The World Health Organization says Israel has delayed giving permission to about half of Gazans who seek to leave the besieged strip for treatment in Israeli hospitals in May.

According to the WHO examination, some 50.7 percent of the 2,282 requests submitted to the Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip in May were held up with no explanation.

The report noted that the delay caused the patients to miss their appointments for examinations or treatments.

The patients who saw their permits delayed included 255 children under age 18 and 141 people over 60.

The UN health agency added that 2.1 percent of the requests were refused while only 47.2 percent of them were approved.

According to the report, the requests often belong to those who had previously received permissions to seek medical treatment outside Gaza.

The new revelation is mere a continuation of Tel Aviv’s policy of depriving besieged Palestinians from their right to be treated as the regime also delayed 39 percent of the responses in April.

The Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that the lengthy waits for an exit permit have led to the death of four women, three children and two men during the first half of 2017.

“There must be a drastic change in Israeli policy toward the exit of patients and toward Gaza in general. The fact that patients sometimes don’t get answers for months is cruel and the weakest population pays the price,” Ran Goldstein, the director of Physicians for Human Rights-Israelو said.

A Palestinian toddler sits inside a cardboard fruit box as another girl approaches, outside their home in a poor neighborhood in Gaza City in the besieged Gaza Strip on August 8, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The Israeli military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku