Besieged Gazans Tormented by Israeli Viciousness

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December 6, 2016
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December 7, 2016
Besieged Gazans Tormented by Israeli Viciousness
by Stephen Lendman
Two million Gazans endure deplorable conditions under Israel’s siege, the UN saying the territory may be “unlivable” by 2020. 
It’s been this way for the past decade under siege, humanitarian crisis conditions exacting a horrendous toll, hugely exacerbated by three Israeli wars of aggression since late December 2008, the most recent one in summer 2014.
Gaza’s health system is woefully inadequate, unable to treat serious illnesses properly. Siege prevents most residents from seeking it elsewhere.
Those allowed out endure a bureaucratic nightmare for permission, often taking months to get, while serious illnesses go untreated.
Earlier I wrote about a woman with pancreatic cancer, needing surgery, unable to get it, saying “(a)t first, there was hope that I would be given an operation, but as time went by I stopped hoping. I am in pain and I know all too well that my disease is life threatening.”
She’s one of many examples. On December 5, the Electronic Intifada (EI) reported on Gaza women with breast cancer unable to get Israeli permission for treatment in Israel or elsewhere abroad.
“Israel is killing me slowly,” said Khuloud Abu Qamar. “And it is killing my children, too.” She had breast cancer surgery last year. Further needed treatment is unavailable in Gaza. She needs it elsewhere.
“Her applications have so far been rejected,” said EI. “Her plight is shared by many others in Gaza. Estimates from the local health ministry indicate that several hundred women with breast cancer have been obstructed from traveling by Israel so far this year” alone.
Suffering with breast cancer, 25-year-old Alaa Masoud said “I don’t want to die. I want to see my baby grow up to be a lovely young man.”
Israel tries blackmailing ill Gazans, granted travel permission for medical treatment in return for becoming Shin Bet informants.
Most refuse, breast cancer patient Dalia Abu Skhaila, saying “(d)ying in Gaza is much easier than betraying my people and country.”
“Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women in Gaza, according to the health ministry,” EI explained. In 2015 alone, “(a)lmost 750 cases…were detected.”
Nearly a decade of Israeli siege imposes enormous hardships on Gazans. Medicines and hospital equipment are woefully inadequate.
“The problems facing the health ministry here are obvious,” said Rafah-based European Hospital oncology department head Dr. Ahmed El Shorafa.
“They are caused by the shortages in money and equipment. We need more medical centers and more staff to provide health education in all parts of Gaza,” he said.
Trapped by Israeli viciousness, seriously ill Gazans suffer and die for lack of treatment only available outside the Strip.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.