❝The repeated closure of Erez and Rafah [crossings] sentences cancer patients to death. It’s a slow death...❞
Siham, a 53-year-old refugee from Gaza, mother of ten, has cancer, and is being treated in an East Jerusalem hospital.
❝In 2013 I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This was the beginning of a long, painful and expensive journey…
❝Last May (2016), I was put on chemotherapy as new cancerous tumors were found in my stomach and hips. The course of treatment ran for seven sessions that had to be completed without interruption every 21 days. I only managed two because the drugs were not sent from Ramallah to Gaza.
❝I waited more than two months and then my doctor referred me to the Augusta Victoria hospital in East Jerusalem. Twice I missed my appointment because I lacked a permit. All I heard from the [Israeli] authorities was that the permit application was being processed.
❝About five months after I first applied, and only after referring my case to human rights organizations and protesting, did I finally get a permit to leave Gaza. A day before coming to Jerusalem, I learned that the cancer has spread to the thyroid.❞