The ACT Palestine Forum has published the following statement on health care access to Gaza:
The ACT Palestine Forum is deeply concerned about the devastation caused by the recent military operations in the Gaza Strip. The loss of lives, displacement of tens of thousands of people, destruction of civilian buildings and healthcare infrastructure, deprivation of access to basic humanitarian needs including food, water and sanitation is unacceptable. The widespread trauma among all people, especially children, must be addressed.
The healthcare system in Gaza has been already under pressure because of COVID-19. Closed checkpoints have hindered access to life-saving medical supplies, equipment and personnel. It is imperative to ensure that life-saving treatment for seriously ill patients can be delivered. This includes treatment for cancer patients from Gaza, who have been denied access for necessary treatment at hospitals in East Jerusalem.
This week, the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), a specialist hospital for advanced cancer treatment run by the Lutheran World Federation, a member of the ACT Alliance, planned an emergency oncology support mission to Gaza. Its staff were denied access by the Israeli Military Authority. The purpose of the mission was to provide support and consultations to cancer patients who could not get their medication on time due to the lengthy closure of the Erez Checkpoint caused by the recent hostilities on Gaza.
This is unacceptable. These patients must be given permission to travel across the border or doctors allowed to administer treatment in Gaza.
The ACT Palestine Forum condemns the denial of entry for medical and humanitarian professionals into Gaza. This contradicts key principles under international humanitarian law and international human rights laws.
The ACT Palestine Forum calls upon
- the Israeli government to allow humanitarian access for medical staff urgently needed for lifesaving and emergency assistance, including medicine for cancer treatment
- the international community to take immediate action in support of a long-lasting solution to this conflict, which includes ending the military occupation and securing equal rights for all.
ACT Palestine Forum
The main objective of the ACT Palestine Forum (APF) is to increase the effectiveness and impact of the humanitarian assistance and development work being undertaken by members through improved coordination. In its joint advocacy on behalf of the members of the forum, the APF seeks to spread awareness of the humanitarian consequences of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to promote humanitarian access for goods, personnel and services.
The ACT Alliance is a global alliance of more than 140 churches and church affiliated organizations working together in 125 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards.