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Palestinian Health ministry: Israel prevents entry of medical equipment into besieged Gaza Strip

The file photo shows a hospital in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip says Israeli authorities continue to prevent medical equipment from entering the besieged coastal enclave, amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Ibrahim Abbas, the director of the ministry's medical imaging unit, made the remarks at a press conference held near the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing on Sunday, stressing, "The Israeli occupation prevents Palestinians from accessing proper treatment inside and outside Gaza," the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Abbas further noted that Israeli authorities have been preventing the entry of medicines as well as important diagnostic equipment and medical devices which are urgently needed for most medical centers across Gaza.

The Palestinian official also pointed that Israeli authorities have been preventing the entry of eight radiography equipment for more than a year.

Abbas said Israel's tight restrictions on the entry of medical equipment would undermine efforts by the health ministry to reprove proper medical care to all patients.

He also called on international health and humanitarian organizations to put pressure on Tel Aviv to allow diagnostic medical devices' entry into the impoverished enclave, especially in the light of  the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The Gaza Strip, home to some two million people, has been under a blockade imposed by Israel since June 2007.

In recent years, the enclave has been receiving its bare essentials through the Kerem Shalom crossing as well as two others, including the Erez crossing.

The Erez crossing, which is the only Israeli pedestrian crossing into the Gaza Strip, is situated along the northern part of the coastal silver, and is used for the movement of humanitarian aid into the territory.

The Israeli regime has routinely closed the crossing, banning the entry of humanitarian supplies and other goods into Gaza.

The other one is the Rafah border crossing which is being strictly controlled by Egypt.

Israel has also launched three major wars on Gaza since 2008. During the 2014 war on Gaza, Israeli forces attacked 17 hospitals and 56 health centers.

The Israeli regime’s inhumane practices have led to a state of de-development within Gaza’s healthcare system, making it extremely hard for health workers to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts warn that the health sector in Gaza could soon collapse unless serious steps are made to remedy the situation.

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