Women in Gaza are facing new difficulties in securing life-saving treatment due to a sharp rise in permit rejections or excessive delays by Israel. These permits would allow women with cancer to leave Gaza in order to access urgent treatment. In the past 12 months, Physicians for Human Rights Israel – an Israeli NGO that helps patients with permit requests – has received 50 requests from women whose permits were denied by Israeli authorities.
In 2017 alone, as evidenced by the World Health Organisation, at least 46 people with cancer died in Gaza after their permits for treatment were denied or delayed by Israel. These restrictions that are being enforced by Israel are in contravention of the right to health, as in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art.12) and the 2018 Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Israel’s obligation as the occupying power.
The letter asks that the Foreign Secretary takes steps to ensure that women in Gaza can leave to receive the treatment they so desperately require.
This is a human rights emergency, and I hope that the Foreign Secretary acts as a matter of great urgency.