Supply ban in Gaza: A death sentence for thousands - Euro-Med

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GENEVA — On Wednesday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported that Palestinians who have survived Israel’s ongoing air, land, and sea raids on Gaza face an imminent risk of death amid a dire lack of medications and the serious spread of epidemics.اضافة اعلان

Euro-Med Monitor called Israel’s ban on medical supplies to hospitals and pharmacies in the Gaza Strip a death sentence for thousands. They reiterated that this decision is another weapon of genocide, aimed at causing severe physical and psychological damage to the people of Gaza that will ultimately result in their deaths.

Testimonies gathered by the Euro-Med Monitor team from medical officials and pharmacy owners in the Strip indicate that the suffering of patients there is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

According to medical officials, there is a severe shortage of most medications, painkillers, and other crucial supplies needed for primary care, emergency care, and central care. The shortage even includes children’s vaccines and infant formula.

Haitham Muhammad, 41, said that worms multiplied in his son’s wounds after he underwent surgery at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah due to a shortage of sterilizers.

Muhammad said that a missile fired by an Israeli warplane close to their home caused shrapnel injuries to his son approximately a week ago. His son underwent the surgery with barely any anesthesia and has since suffered from infected wounds due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. His doctors told the family that there were no available antibiotics suitable to combat these bacteria.

Ghada Saeed Murjan, 37, testified that her three children recently experienced severe vomiting. She attempted to find medication for their condition in most of the pharmacies in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip but was unsuccessful. The medication shortage is even more dangerous, however, for people with chronic diseases.

Fifty-one-year-old Shaaban Sharab informed the Euro-Med Monitor team that he has been searching for a suitable treatment for his 26-year-old daughter, who has lung cancer, for three weeks. Since October 7, 2023, she has not received any chemotherapy doses, which has resulted in a serious decline in her health.

Khawla Ribhi, a 45-year-old displaced woman with type 1 diabetes, also experienced a recent decline in her health after failing to obtain enough insulin.

Euro-Med Monitor received testimonies from six people with chronic diseases, including a heart patient and another individual who needs dialysis, in the central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip, all of whom are suffering from deteriorating health in light of the lack of medicines and health care available to them.

As per the report by Euro-Med Monitor, the limited medical assistance that reaches Gaza via the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt primarily consists of anesthetic drugs and other medications meant for medical surgeries. It does not include any medications meant to treat chronic illnesses and other medical conditions.

The health of tens of thousands of patients is rapidly worsening as a result of the extremely limited supply of medications for chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, excessive lipids, pulmonary diseases, and respiratory illnesses, amid the serious spread of epidemics in the Strip’s overcrowded displacement centers. Euro-Med Monitor warned of the serious implications of running out of medications for these chronically ill patients.

Hospitals in Gaza are struggling with a severe lack of intravenous fluids, insulin, and anesthesia supplies. Additionally, electrical-dependent medical equipment, such as ventilators, incubators, X-rays, CT scans, analyzers, and anesthesia machines, is becoming less and less functional due to Israel’s restrictions on fuel.

A shortage of antibiotic medications is another major problem, as it increases the risk of wound infection, as is a lack of most painkillers, ointments, and medical supplies, including traditional antiseptics like iodine. Dozens of pregnant women have also suffered miscarriages due to the absence of blood-thinning medications, which prevent clotting, as well as prenatal vitamin supplements.

The Gaza Strip is also experiencing a severe shortage of vaccine stocks, which is contributing to thousands of cases of infectious diseases in centers for internally displaced persons.

Additionally, the decomposing remains of dead bodies across the Strip pose a danger that threatens to ignite a public health crisis.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, there are currently more than 2,000 cancer patients in the Strip, 1,100 kidney failure patients, about 50,000 cardiac patients, more than 60,000 diabetics, and thousands of others with chronic diseases who are unable to receive any actual health care.

This comes at a time when just nine out of 36 hospitals and 18 out of 72 healthcare centers in Gaza are currently operating. According to data released by the WHO, the average bed occupancy rate in these operating hospitals is 350 percent, and the bed occupancy rate in intensive care units is 260 percent.

Gaza’s hospitals are also struggling with a lack of medical personnel, particularly neurosurgeons, specialized surgeons, and intensive care nurses, as medical personnel find it difficult to get to hospitals because of the Israeli evacuation orders and general movement difficulties resulting from Israel’s ongoing attacks.

Tens of thousands of patients in the Gaza Strip will die slowly and painfully if they do not receive medicine, medical supplies, and other necessities, Euro-Med Monitor declared. The rights group underscored the urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire to protect and replenish the Strip’s remaining medical facilities and to treat all injured and ill Gazans.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor confirmed that these crimes are being committed as part of Israel’s genocide and are evidence of Israeli collective punishment and mass killing policies against the more than 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. These policies violate both international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and Israel’s brutal campaign in the Gaza Strip is believed to be one of the bloodiest in modern history, given the unprecedented rate of killing.

Euro-Med Monitor reiterated its call for the international community’s parties, particularly those who have indorsed the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to take decisive action to halt Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians, protect civilians and medical facilities, give them the resources they need right away, make sure that they are no longer targeted, and hold accountable all those involved in these crimes and violations.

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