The file photo shows a Palestinian man holding a child near the Erez crossing in Beit Hanun, north of the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)
The Tel Aviv
regime has prevented a Palestinian woman, who has been suffering from breast cancer, from leaving the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip to receive treatment.
Nadia al-Bakri, 52, has been suffering from cancer since 2009, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), an independent Palestinian human rights organization, said in a statement published on Monday.
She has undergone chemotherapy, an operation, and radiation treatment at Sheba Medical Center in the occupied territories and been advised to have periodic checkups at the hospital.
However, Israeli forces have continued to prevent Bakir’s exit from Gaza despite the fact that she has had several medical appointments arranged.
According to the PCHR, the last time Bakri was allowed to go to the hospital for a checkup was on December 27, 2015. Her latest appointment was due on September 20.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported in July that an official from Israel’s internal spy agency, Shin Bet, had told Bakri that she did not meet the criteria for “urgent humanitarian and lifesaving cases.”
Bakri is the director of the Women’s Affairs Center in Gaza and a board member of the PCHR.
“The continued Israeli policy to prevent patients from traveling to receive medical treatment is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, especially as this policy falls within the continued illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip,” the PCHR statement read.
“Bakri’s case is similar to the cases of all Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip, who receive advanced medical treatment in hospitals” of the West Bank and the occupied Palestinian territories, the statement added.
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 levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israel has also waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others injured.
The latest aggression against the Palestinian territory started in early July 2014 and ended after 50 days on August 26 that year, with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Israeli’s 2014 onslaught on Gaza damaged or destroyed some 20 hospitals and 60 primary health care facilities.
Many of Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinian residents are forced to either go without care or find a way to access treatment outside of the besieged coastal enclave.