Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip held a protest on Feb. 8 against Israel's restrictions on their receiving medical treatment as the Israeli siege of the coastal enclave has led to the shutdown of many hospitals due to a worsening power shortage. (Xinhua)
GAZA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of Palestinian patients including the disabled protested on Thursday at the Erez border crossing in northern Gaza against Israel's 11-year-long siege on the coastal enclave.
The protesters said patients who are in severe need of access to medical treatment encounter great obstacles in receiving permits from the Israeli authorities.
"We aim to deliver a message to the world for the need to provide a decent life for us and to solve the humanitarian crises in the Gaza Strip," said wounded Ahmed al-Sawafiri.
The international community must work together to relieve the suffering of the patients in Gaza and obligate Israel to respect their right to a decent life, protesters said.
According to the World Health Organization, the Israeli authorities have delayed or denied 40 percent of the patients in Gaza their access to medical care outside the besieged coastal enclave since last July.
Earlier this week, the Gaza Ministry of Health announced the suspension of medical operations in 16 healthcare centers across the enclave, citing the severe shortage of power and fuel.