The United Nations said it is deeply concerned over the declining health care system in the Gaza Strip, due to the ongoing Israeli siege and closure.

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Gaza Offensive

The United Nations said it is deeply concerned over the declining health care system in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli siege and closure.

The UN stated that one year after the Israeli offensive, border crossings remain closed, and hundreds of patients are deprived from receiving the timely advanced health care.

Max Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, stated that the people of Gaza are not receiving the needed health care, and that the situation there is man-made, inflicted by the siege, unlike the situation in Haiti that has been destroyed by an Earthquake.

The siege on Gaza led to the death of more than 366 patients, while hundreds are facing the same fate as hospitals and medical centers in the coastal region are lacking the basic supplies, especially after the huge demand created by the latest offensive that left more 1419 dead, and nearly 6000 wounded.

Yet, Israel is still alleging that it is allowing humanitarian cases to leave the Gaza Strip, an issue that has not been proven by any concrete action on the ground.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the siege led to shortages in certain drugs, and is preventing the entry of much needed vital medical equipment and spare parts.

Tony Laurance, head of the WHO in the Palestinian territories, stated that the health care in Gaza is decent, and sophisticated, and added that this modern, western system cannot be run under siege and while isolated from the International community.

Hundreds of patients are seeking health care in Israel and Arab countries due to the lack of advanced care, but Israel is not allowing them to leave the coastal region.

The WHO said that 1.103 applications were filed to Israel from patients or their families, and that Israel denied 21% of the applications in 2009 which led to the death of 27 patients.

“This would have been an international scandal if it happened in my country, the UK, or Europe and Israel”, Laurence stated, “but here in Gaza, this is happening to 300 or 400 patients every month”.

On November 11, 2009, Fidaa Hajjy, an 18-year-old woman died of Hodgkin’s disease.

She applied for a permit to be treated in Israel three times but never received a response. She died two days after missing an appointment at an Israeli hospital.