Under siege, Gazans face poverty, unemployment, shortages of everything, at times lack of vital to life essentials, and prohibition of exports except for occasional limited amounts of strawberries, flowers, peppers and tomatoes. However, getting them out is expensive, time consuming and unprofitable.
On March 28, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) headlined, "Occupied Lives: Dying while waiting for medical supplies," saying:
In 2009, Egyptian doctors diagnosed Gaza resident Akram Mones Abu Sefan with chronic myelocytic leukemia. Since 2010, Glivec kept him alive. It's a new drug able to significantly increase patient survival rates.
Even though cancer spread to other parts of his body, he says Gilvec "changed my life. Since I started treatment....the symptoms of the leukemia have subsided and I feel healthy again."
However, since January 2012, the drug's unavailable in Gaza's Central Drug Store. Under siege, Gazan authorities face enormous obstacles getting enough essential to life supplies, including medicines.
Procedures require Health Ministry officials requesting supplies from Ramallah's health authorities. They, in turn, must coordinate efforts with Israel for delivery.
However, the combination of Israeli harshness, Hamas/Fatah disputes, and financial problems limits the availability of essential medications and other vital supplies.
Akram's wife explained their ordeal, saying:
"My husband suffers from strong headaches and from pain in his legs. I try my best to cook food that can compensate the problems caused by his blood disease."
His doctor told them that interrupting treatment risks severe consequences. They include respiratory and kidney failure leading to death.
At present, 32 Gazan cancer patients depend on Gilvec to survive. Supplies ran out before. For a month and a half, Akram's treatment was interrupted. He depends on Gaza's Health Ministry to provide it. It costs $3,700 a month. It's far more than he or most other Palestinians can afford.
According to Shifa Hospital's Na'el Shih, 80% of medicines patients need aren't available. "We are dying in here. One hundred eighty six medicines are currently depleted from the Central Drug Store of the Ministry of Health in Gaza."
"The remaining stock will be finished within the next 2-3 months. (For the past) two months, there have been no hepatitis vaccinations for newborns in Gaza."
Expensive medications like Gilvec are especially hard to get or unavailable. Without them, patients suffer and face death.
Israel can easily save them. Too often, it condemns them to death while suffocating 1.7 million others under siege. It's official policy.
On March 28, Haaretz headlined, "Israel's contentious Bedouin relocation plan passes PM's Office panel," saying: