Skip to main content

Is Israel banning entry of Gaza cancer patients?

Israeli physicians say that many cancer patients from the Gaza Strip are banned from entering Israel, and so they are hospitalized in Gaza where there is no adequate medical treatment.
Amit (2nd L), a 7 year old cancer patient, sits on his intravenous drip stand decorated with an animal figure at Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva March 23, 2006. The hospital offers art therapy for children undergoing cancer treatments as a way to make their treatments more friendly. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RTR17JJ2
Read in 

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) claims Israel has “dramatically toughened” its policy on granting permits to sick Palestinians needing life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals, among them many cancer patients. This, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays in full for every patient referred by its Health Ministry for care in Israel.

Attorney Mahmoud Abu Arisha, in charge of the organization’s occupied territories department, told Al-Monitor that over the past six months PHR has received 158 appeals from severely ill Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank whose requests for treatment in Israel were turned down by the Shin Bet security agency. Naturally, not all people turn to PHR when their requests for entry permits are denied. Thus, the organization estimates that the number of requests refused by the Shin Bet is much higher than that. In 2015, in comparison, the organization received 48 such appeals over the entire year, and only 23 the year before.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.