Operating room at Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza City. (Photo via Ma’an News file)
The Palestinian Information Centre report, 10 February 2017
Health ministry: Israel prevents entry of anesthetic gas into Gaza
The Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authorities deliberately prevented passage of nitrous gas, which is used as an anesthetic, for the third time in one month.
Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that during January 2017, the Israeli occupation forces prevented entry of nitrous gas into the Gaza Strip three times in a row infringing Gazan patients’ rights of receiving decent treatment, and this comes in conjunction with an Israeli escalation against the Strip.
According to al-Quds Press news agency, al-Qidra stated that the hospitals of the Gaza Strip need more than 4000 kg of nitrous gas with a rate of over than 200 surgeries a day, which requires a continuous availability of this gas especially after the latest Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip.
Al-Qidra pointed out that the quantities entering Gaza are restricted according to specific policies set by Israel to ensure that the Ministry of Health doesn’t have additional supplies.
He warned that the lack of nitrous gas will affect the health status of patients who have to undergo surgeries on a daily basis, calling at the same time on the international institutions to immediately act to allow entry of the anesthetic gas to the hospitals of Gaza.
Israel has been imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip for ten years ago and closed all borders and crossings linking Gaza with the outside world while opening them partially and in exceptional cases for the passage of goods and people.