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Why Does Israel Make Cancer Care In Gaza So Hard?

Cancer patients in Gaza must often travel to hospitals in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, undergoing extremely lengthy exit processes put in place by the regime and also risking their lives via potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Cancer patients in Gaza must often travel to hospitals in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, undergoing extremely lengthy exit processes put in place by the regime and also risking their lives via potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Palestine continues to suffer a humanitarian crisis on multiple fronts, the most crucial of which is related to access to health care. Even being able to donate to Palestine is a challenging process. With Israeli blockades, Palestinians are unable to access aid, healthcare, and more.

In particular, access to quality cancer care in the Gaza Strip is becoming increasingly rare, and the families of cancer patients often suffer from a lack of financial resources due to unemployment (currently at 49% in the Gaza Strip).

Here is how the current regime impacts cancer care in the Gaza Strip and how your zakat and sadaqah can help the people of Palestine this Ramadan:

The State of Health Care in the Gaza Strip

Nearly all Palestinians face barriers to adequate health care access under the blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has lasted over 10 years, and shortages of supplies and medical equipment have severely impacted patient care. In the last year alone, there were more than 35,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, and 33 health facilities were damaged by air and ground strikes. 

Residents of the Gaza Strip who need medical care are entirely dependent on the whims of Israel’s military and political leadership, whose decision-making processes are driven more by political expediency rather than by medical policy.

Additionally, Gaza’s residents have no representation whatsoever in determining public and health policies for the Gaza Strip itself, leaving concerns over their access to health care and emergency supplies unheard.

The government’s 10-year blockade of Gaza also impacts the supply of crucial non-medical supplies that severely impact the delivery of medical care, like fuel. Curtailment and at times total suspensions of fuel supply to the Gaza Strip have led directly to a reduction in ambulance use, failures to remove toxic waste, and a decrease in the supply of emergency medical services. 

With the supply and dispensation of medical care being hamstrung by the current regime, Gaza’s residents face rising levels of crisis in health care, and the situation is not expected to improve any time soon.

How Israel Blocks Cancer Care to the Gaza Strip

Currently, cancer is the third most common cause of death among Palestinians, causing 14% of all deaths in Palestine in 2020.

Several necessary cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and PET CT scans, are unavailable due to the severe blockade. Items necessary for these treatments are classified by the Israeli government as “dual-use” items, which are seen as potentially usable for weaponization, and are banned entirely in the Gaza Strip. 

As a result, cancer patients in Gaza must often travel to hospitals in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, undergoing extremely lengthy exit processes put in place by the regime and also risking their lives via potential exposure to COVID-19. 

This process makes it especially difficult for elderly cancer patients as well as pediatric cancer patients, who often have limited physical mobility and whose families often lack the financial resources to cover travel expenses. 

All of this makes helping Gaza’s cancer patients via our zakat and sadaqah more crucial than ever before. 

Zakat Foundation of America’s Newest Gaza Strip Initiative is Addressing this Issue

This Ramadan and beyond,  Zakat Foundation of America is working to bring meals and hope to patients at Al-Rantisi Pediatric Specialized Hospital, the only pediatric cancer department in the Gaza Strip.

The families of these children suffer from skyrocketing poverty and unemployment because of the blockade, and we believe it’s our duty to help these children in their stead.

Your zakat and sadaqah can ensure that these innocent children have a fighting chance this Ramadan.

Give today at: https://www.zakat.org/get-involved/ramadan-2022 

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