Gaza: rights group warns of impact of Israeli ban on medical equipment

Middle East Monitor  /  January 31, 2022

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) warned on Sunday of the repercussions of Israel’s ban on medical equipment and spare parts being taken to the besieged Gaza Strip.

“It has been confirmed that the Israeli occupation authorities have banned the import of new medical devices necessary for radiology services in Gaza Strip hospitals for ten months,” said the PCHR. “The Israeli authorities have also banned the import of spare parts necessary for the maintenance of many broken and out-of-service medical devices despite their importance in diagnosing diseases and treating patients.”

According to the rights group, more than two million people in the Gaza Strip depend on government facilities for healthcare.

“These healthcare facilities are already on the verge of collapse due to the Israeli-imposed closure for the past 15 years, and the situation is exacerbated by the impact of the Palestinian internal division and political bickering. The result is a fragile healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, a perpetual shortage of essential drugs and medical devices and an insufficient number of specialist health professionals.”

The PCHR pointed out that the Israeli ban constitutes a violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“We call on the international community and the World Health Organization to put pressure on Israel and compel it to comply with its obligations, and to allow the entry of medical supplies into the Gaza Strip, especially radiology devices.”