At least 400 sick children in Gaza risk death under Israeli siege
A recent report by UK-based NGO Save the Children highlights the distressing situation of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip who have been denied critical healthcare by the Israeli government in the first half of 2023.
A recent report from the UK-based NGO Save the Children revealed that the Israeli government has prevented nearly 400 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip from receiving critical healthcare during the first half of 2023. The report highlighted that approximately 60 children per month are denied entry into the Occupied West Bank, where they could access essential medical care.
These entry denials have severe consequences, leaving many Palestinian children in Gaza without access to vital medications and necessary surgical procedures.
Save the Children's Director Jason Lee has stressed the dire situation, stating that some of these children are critically ill and have no viable options for survival. He also characterized the denial of healthcare as inhumane and a violation of their most basic rights.
Due to the limited medical equipment and facilities in Gaza, hundreds of patients, including those with chronic illnesses like cancer, must secure medical referrals and financial coverage from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to receive treatment in either "Israel" or the Occupied West Bank. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that cancer treatment and services are the primary reasons patients seek permits to leave besieged Gaza.
Patients who receive financial support from the PA are then required to apply for Israeli exit permits, but they are typically allowed to leave Gaza only through the Beit Hanoun crossing. Tragically, local reports suggested that approximately one in ten patients with severe illnesses who apply for exit permits die within six months after submitting their first application.
In May, the Israeli authorities denied exit permits to 100 children. During the same month, Gaza faced critical shortages, with approximately 224 essential medications and 213 medical disposables reported to be out of stock, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The lives of children in Gaza are further imperiled by the enduring Israeli blockade, which has been in place for 16 years. As of September 2023, at least 227 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces, making the year 2023 the deadliest for Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank since the UN began recording such data in 2005.