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Minister raises alarm over 'racist' Israeli policies toward Palestinian healthcare

The mother of a wounded Palestinian child comforts him as he rests at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on 13 May, 2021. (Photo by AP)

The Palestinian healthcare sector faces acute shortages of medicine amid an Israeli siege, Ramallah-based Health Minister Mai Alkailahas has warned.

“Like all other sectors, the Palestinian health sector suffers from great shortages due to the financial siege imposed by the occupation, as well as the weak international donations,” she told Western and UN officials in Ramallah Thursday. 

“These shortages negatively affect the services offered to the patients due to the acute lack of medicines,” she added.

The health minister stressed that patients are subject to Israel’s “racist” policies as if they live under the authority of an “apartheid” regime when they move from the Gaza Strip or the West Bank to receive treatment at Israeli hospitals.

She called on the international community and human rights groups to “rein in” the Israeli occupation and stop it from making the health of the Palestinians a military target.

A report by the United Nations on Wednesday revealed that the Israeli regime’s discrimination against Palestinians is the “main cause” of the endless cycles of violence across the occupied territories.

The development comes in the wake of the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, destroying healthcare facilities, houses, and schools.

In the span of about ten days last month, Israeli occupation forces wreaked havoc on Gaza’s already precarious public health system, destroying 19 medical centers, including the offices of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Israeli attacks in recent years have demolished primary health infrastructure in the occupied Gaza Strip, including clinics and hospitals as well as key public health services.

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