|[ 18/01/2011 – 06:37 PM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– Gaza’s Health Minister Bassem Naim said 400 kidney patients in Gaza are at risk as dialysis solution provided by the World Health Organization is on the brink of running out.
The warning came when Naim welcomed to Gaza a delegation from the Gaddafi International Foundation on Tuesday.
Naim praised the Libyans’ role in ongoing support of the Palestinian cause in Arab and international forums.
“We are suffering from difficulty in producing funds required for the ministry’s operating expenses, which are estimated at more than 2.5 million dollars a month, and in paying expensive rent for storage,” the health minister said.
Most of the medicines donated to the Gaza Strip are either outdated or damaged, Naim told the Libyan delegation. He added that the Israeli economic blockade is to blame for a critical shortage in spare parts used in medical equipment, much of which has broken down due to the strip’s frequent power failures.
The Libyan delegation expressed willingness to help provide the ministry with priorities and needs, and to help send Palestinian doctors abroad and Libyan doctors to the strip for training.
Gaza’s ministry of health warned that continuing shortages in medical supplies could bring surgical operations at hospitals in the Strip to a standstill.
Mounir Al-Borsh, the ministry’s chief of pharmaceuticals, said there were chronic shortages in medical supplies and medical essentials in the operating rooms.
He indicated that some 183 medicines and 165 types of medical supplies were out of stock in the ministry’s storage and hospitals.
This worsens every day, he added.
Al-Borsh held the Ramallah government responsible for involving medical supplies in the political wrangling between Gaza and the West Bank by using the sick as pawns and punishing Gaza’s Palestinian population as a whole.
In his statement, Al-Borsh said that the international Red Cross managed to transport into Gaza enough dialysis solution to last a month.
He called on the government in Ramallah to supply the Gaza Strip with the medicine necessary pointing out that a share of medicine provided by the World Bank must be given to Gaza.
The WB’s supply is to all Palestinians including Gaza’s population, he emphasised.
Al-Borsh called on international organisations to intervene quickly and pressure Ramallah’s health ministry to end the shortage which has created disastrous conditions for thousands of sick Gazans.
Doctors in Gaza have commemorated their colleagues who were killed by Israel during “Operation Cast Lead” two years ago. The group staged a protest to mark the anniversary of the Gaza War and the abuses perpetrated by Israel against ambulance crews and medical staff during its assault and invasion in 2008/9. Ambulance crews marched in solidarity with the doctors. Sixteen medical personnel were killed whilst on duty during the Israeli assault; thirty-three health centres were destroyed.
The General Manager of the Al-Shifa Hospital, Medhat Abbas, took the opportunity to warn of the continuing dangers posed by the toxic substances in the weapons used by Israel during the war. Analysis of biological samples have proved that the Israelis used more than 30 toxic metals during the attack on Gaza, and that uranium and phosphorus bombs were used against civilians; this is banned by international law. Israel also used gas bombs, the research claims, which have contributed to human embryos being deformed.
Mr Abbas appealed to medical delegations visiting Gaza to report back to health organisations and international humanitarian organisations on the situation so that the health status and the acute shortage of medical supplies and devices and medicines in the Gaza Strip can be relieved. He also called on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to supply Gaza with its fair share of life-saving drugs on an on-going basis.
|[ 15/01/2011 – 10:05 AM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– A US medical delegation is scheduled to land in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to perform a series of medical operations.
The Gaza program for mental health, the trip’s coordinator, has completed preparations to receive the delegation of eight doctors of surgical specialists and psychologists from the US Physicians for Social Responsibility group. The medics will stay in Gaza until January 24.
The delegation will visit government and civil health and rights foundations during the visit in coordination with Gaza Health Ministry and the general hospital authority.
The delegation visited the Gaza Strip twice in recent years. The doctors carried out many orthopedic and urologic procedures and assessed dozens of other patients.
|[ 12/01/2011 – 02:12 PM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian minister of health Dr. Basem Naim warned that the Gaza Strip suffers from an acute shortage of medicines and medical needs, especially due to the reluctance of the illegitimate government in Ramallah to send Gaza its portion of medical supplies fully.
In a medical symposium held in Gaza on Tuesday evening, Dr. Naim stated that his ministry needs millions of dollars every year to face challenges and difficulties related to the health sector.
He stressed that despite the many hardships, the health ministry in Gaza managed to take steady steps towards the improvement of the health sector.
The minister pointed out that the ministry developed a plan to deal with any Israeli military aggression against Gaza and formed a high emergency administration with branches throughout the Strip and a media center.
The minister appealed to all international humanitarian organizations to help Gaza people, especially the patients, medically and provide the health sector with its needs of medical supplies.
|[ 10/01/2011 – 08:18 AM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– The Gaza Health Ministry warned Sunday that the Strip will run out of dialysis solution and insulin in days.
“The drug deficit has reached more than 40 per cent in the warehouses. There are 165 missing medical consumables,” the ministry’s General Directorate of Pharmaceuticals said.
The Health Ministry has held its counterpart in the PA-governed West Bank responsible for the shortage and accused it of withholding essential medicines.
Only 37 per cent of required medical supplies reached the Strip in 2010, the Health Ministry said, warning that a medical disaster affecting thousands of patients could befall the Gaza Strip at any moment.
Since Israel tightened its economic siege of the region four years back, 378 Palestinians have died from lack of medicines and being prohibited to get treatment abroad.
In a separate development, the Ministry of Health has announced that the Gaza Strip is free of the swine flu, caused by the H1N1 virus.
Several people were recorded to have been infected with the virus in the neighboring areas of the West Bank, Jordan, and more.
“No case of the virus has reached us. We are prepared to cope with such cases,” the ministry’s undersecretary Dr. Hassan Khalaf told the Quds Press.
Gaza was the last place in the world affected by the virus.
|[ 08/01/2011 – 04:49 PM ]|
BEIRUT, (PIC)– A Lebanon-based doctors association interested in breaking the Gaza siege expressed shock over the number of Gaza children who were deformed by internationally-banned weapons in the last Israeli war on Gaza.
Briefing a Friday press conference in Beirut after a trip to the Gaza Strip to assess its medical situation, the campaign said the Strip was rife with children deformed by white phosphorus, depleted uranium, napalm, cluster bombs, and other internationally-prohibited arms in the last Gaza war.
The medical association said there was a sharp shortage in critically needed medicines in the Strip.
The Gaza health ministry has made frequent accusations recently against the West Bank-governing Palestinian Authority of withholding hundreds of out of stock medical supplies.
Meanwhile, a Gaza man died Saturday waiting to cross Israeli borders to receive treatment.
The victim, Anas Jumaa Salih, suffered from blockage of the hepatic venous circulation. Israeli authorities denied his entry through the northern Gaza Strip Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.
The Gaza health ministry appealed to all international and human rights groups to swiftly intervene to save the patients in Gaza, placing some of the blame on the West Bank government for withholding vital medicines.
The Iranian medical supplies are part of an Asian aid convoy, dubbed Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, or Asia 1, which is carrying an estimated one million dollars worth of medicine, foodstuffs and toys as well as four buses and 10 power generators for hospitals.
Earlier this week, Egyptian authorities had denied entrance to a number of Iranian activists and refused to allow 10 generators donated by the Islamic Republic to pass through the Rafah border crossing.
The relief supplies have been unloaded from a ship organized by the convoy, which has docked at the Egyptian port of El Arish.
The Asian convoy consists of activists from more than 15 countries, including Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Kuwait.
The convoy had travelled 7,000 kilometers, but was stuck in Latikia, in the northwest of Syria, for more than a week awaiting Egypt’s permission.
It started its journey in the Indian capital, New Delhi. It had passed through Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to reach Egypt and finally the Gaza Strip.
The convoy was scheduled to reach Gaza by December 27, the second anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on the impoverished enclave that started on December 28, 2008.
Tel Aviv has been enforcing an all-out land, aerial and naval blockade on the 1.5 million Palestinians in the enclave since mid-June 2007.
The illegal Israeli-imposed blockade has created dire humanitarian and economic situation in the enclave as the United Nations expresses concern that over 80 percent of people of Gaza depend on relief supplies for their survival.
On May 31, Israel’s military killed nine Turkish activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, an Ankara-backed humanitarian convoy, which was carrying humanitarian supplies to the Palestinians.
27 December 2010
On the second anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008–18 January 2009), Addameer reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli policy that has denied residents from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons family visits for over three years.
In June 2007, as part of its policy of treating the Gaza Strip as an enemy entity following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Israel implemented a total prohibition on family visits to prisoners from Gaza. In addition, starting in November 2009, Israel has effectively prevented these prisoners from receiving money from their families to buy basic necessities by requiring that transfers of money be conditional on the physical presence of a family member at an Israeli bank—an impossibility for families residing in the Gaza Strip.
As a result, the 686 Palestinians from Gaza currently detained in Israeli prisons are completely isolated from the outside world. They are largely unaware of the major events taking place in the lives of their families, including the deaths of close relatives. Similarly, their relatives are kept in the dark about their general detention and health conditions. These prisoners’ access to basic necessities is also severely limited since such supplies are usually brought by family members during visits or purchased by prisoners from the prison canteen with funds transferred from their families.
Israel’s policy has been condemned, among others, by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in its report on the 2008–2009 Israeli offensive. On 9 December 2009, however, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled against two petitions filed by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations in 2008 protesting the legality of the ban on family visits.
The court held that the right to family visits in prison is not within the “framework of the basic humanitarian needs of the residents of the Strip, which Israel is obligated to enable”.
Addameer continues to contend that this ruling contravenes international law protecting detainees’ rights. The right to family visits is an entrenched right in international law, expressly provided for in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, the European Prison Rules, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and, in relation to child detainees, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention obliges an Occupying Power to protect, inter alia, family rights. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is a party, the family is recognized as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and should be accorded the widest protection possible.
Moreover, Addameer submits that the absolute prohibition on family visits is designed to demoralize and punish prisoners’ families, and by extension the general population in Gaza, for their political choices in 2006, making the policy a clear case of collective punishment, a war crime for which Israel should be held responsible.
Israel, and particularly the Israeli Prison Service, should immediately allow family visits and phone communication to Gazan prisoners in accordance with its legal obligations. Addameer rejects any alternative solution to the complete reinstatement of family visits, such as allowing prisoners to make teleconference calls with their families, as proposed by Israel to the ICRC.
Addameer therefore calls on the members of the international community, particularly UN Member States and relevant UN bodies and agencies to:
- · Publically condemn Israel’s ban on family visits to Gaza residents detained in Israeli prisons
- · Immediately intervene with the Israeli authorities to pressure them to adhere to their international legal obligations by reversing the ban on family visits
- · Fulfill their binding legal obligation to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions, in particular Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on family rights
- · Raise the issue of prisoners from Gaza in all their relations with Israel
- · Reject any alternative solution to reinstating full family visits
For more information on the High Court of Justice’s 2009 decision, see Addameer’s response. For more information about Addameer’s work on behalf of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention, please visit our website http://www.addameer.info, or contact us directly:
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447
|[ 27/12/2010 – 08:01 PM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– The Gaza Health Ministry’s maintenance and engineering authority warned of the dangers of Israel’s block of chemicals used in the oxygen station at the maternity ward of Shifa hospital and spare parts for CT at the European Hospital in Khan Younis from being delivered to the ministry’s institutions.
Maintenance and engineering director Bassam al-Hamadein at the ministry stressed Thursday that the Gaza Strip has been suffering for four years from an unjust siege that has left a devastating impact on all aspects of life, Israel’s block of medical supplies into the Strip is exacerbating the health situation.
Hamadein called on the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, and other rights groups for the necessity for swift intervention in providing the Gazans with their medical needs.
The health ministry called on donor government and non-government organizations to pressure Israel to give clearance for needed medical supplies to be delivered to the ministry.