15 January 2023 |Reference 06/2023
Israeli authorities continue to severely restrict the entry of goods and humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip under the government’s comprehensive closure policy, despite the visible deterioration of Gaza’s health determinants. Alarmingly, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, since the beginning of 2022, Israel has been preventing CT scans, digital X-ray machines, mobile C-arm X-ray devices and interventional X-ray devices, as well as spare parts needed to repair outdated or damaged medical devices from entering Gaza. X-ray machines are vital machines that are used in intensive care units, inpatient wards, receiving units and operating rooms. Their absence exacerbates patients' suffering and puts their lives at risk.
Notably, such restraints are often motivated by the fact that Israeli authorities often change their entry requirements for suppliers with the intent of placing additional obstacles to the entry of goods into the Strip. Indeed, Israel persists in its unlawful closure—which is a retaliatory policy resulting in 15 years of unlawful collective punishment according to international law.
Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s obstruction of the entry of medical devices, in particular those used for diagnosis, into the Gaza Strip. The international community must urgently intervene to ensure Israel’s respect of its legal obligations vis-à-vis the occupied Palestinian people and end the closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which not only undermines Palestinians’ enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms but also largely causes the determinants of health to deteriorate. To this end, Al Mezan also calls for the free, unhindered movement of medical equipment and consignments into the Gaza Strip, while fostering support for its healthcare sector.
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