A doctor from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) mobile team gives a Palestinian child a medical checkup in a tent on the outskirts of the southern West Bank city of Hebron on August 9, 2018. (AFP photo)
GAZA, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Gaza Strip has been suffering from a more serious shortage of medicines and good caused by Israel's recent harsh punitive measures.
On Sunday, Gaza Health Ministry announced the cessation of chemotherapy for cancer patients in Gaza hospitals as the ministry's warehouses ran out of chemotherapy medications.
Spokesman for the ministry Ashraf al-Qedra said in a statement that the chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients in Rantisi Hospital in Gaza city was stopped due to medicine depletion, as well as the depletion of Neupogen which used to increase patients' immunity.
"80 percent of cancer drugs in the Gaza Strip have run out, making all therapeutic protocols completely impractical, putting the lives of patients at stake," al-Qedra revealed.
According to Health Ministry figures, there are some 6100 elderly tumor patients and 460 children receiving medical care at Rantisi Hospital in Gaza, while 1,700 patients with major tumors are being treated at the European Hospital in southern city of Khan Younis.
This comes amid escalating warnings of an imminent economic collapse caused by Israel's tightening of the blockade it has been imposing on the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Jamal al-Khudari, chairman of the Popular Committee to Break the Israeli Blockade on the Gaza Strip, said that the coastal enclave is collapsing in light of the continued Israeli siege and the recent tight measures on the entry of all raw and building materials as well as hundreds of basic humanitarian goods.
In a press statement, al-Khudari stressed that the siege "represents an Israeli collective punishment targeting more than two million Palestinians living in Gaza, which violates all international laws and norms."
"Gaza is collapsing economically. The situation in all vital and humanitarian sectors cannot be described in light of this grave blockade that strikes the foundations of the Palestinian economy," he said.
Al-Khudari called on the international community to intervene urgently to rescue the collapsed situation in Gaza and press Israel to end the blockade urgently and to open all trade crossings and allow the free movement of individuals and goods.
On Saturday, the Palestinian Businessmen Association announced that more than 95 percent of Gaza factories and production facilities have been shut down due to Israel's ban on all types of raw and construction materials into the Gaza Strip for more than a month.
The Association said in a press release that about 75 thousand people have lost their jobs due to Israel's recent measures, warning that the economy of Gaza is going through a "dangerous stage."
In mid July, Israel tightened its blockade on Gaza after imposing additional restrictions on the entry of goods as part of the measures against Hamas, the Islamic movement that runs the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Under the recent Israeli measures, some 1000 items are banned entry into Gaza. Exports have also been completely halted.
The Israeli decision came in response to the arson kites and helium balloons flying from Gaza into Israel, which caused large fires and losses in the Israeli territory.
Meanwhile, Palestinian government on Sunday called for international pressure on Israel to lift the siege it has imposed on the Gaza Strip.
The government also demanded to regain the national unity by fulfilling the steps of the Egypt-brokered deal, Yousef Al-Mahmoud, spokesman of Palestinian government, said in a press statement.
The only way out of "the current internal crisis is ending the division," Mahmoud said, hinting at Hamas' responsibility for "rejecting the achievement of the reconciliation."