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Gaza's children suffer as Hamas, PA continue conflict

Five Israeli doctors discuss their recent visit to Gaza, where disease is rampant, medication is disappearing and medical patients have given up hope.
A Palestinian girl suffering from cancer sits with her mother at the al-Rantisi children's hospital in Gaza City on April 6, 2017.
The World Health Organization and others have pointed to the effect the Israeli blockade has had on medical crossings, a crucial issue for impoverished Gaza, which lacks proper medical equipment in many cases. Many patients seek treatment in Israel, and some in the occupied West Bank, the other Palestinian territory separated geographically from Gaza.
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Dr. Ra'ad Haj Yehia, a member of the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI) organization, returned June 26 from the Gaza Strip. He says he still hasn’t recovered from the scenes he saw in the hospitals there. Yehia was summoned to Gaza by medical teams in the Strip who asked the PHRI organization “to come and save lives.”

Ever since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to sever the Palestinian Authority (PA) from the Strip and stop transferring money to it in April 2017, the health system in Gaza has been collapsing. The Gaza Health Ministry reported at the end of June on infants and children who died because the PA refused to underwrite life-saving medical treatment for them in Israel or other hospitals in the West Bank.

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