Aisha Al-Lulu, has died in a hospital in Al-Quds on Friday (18 May). She left the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip last April for treatment at two hospitals in Al-Quds.
The five-year-old underwent a complex operation to remove a cancerous tumor from the brain stem and died due to complications after surgery.
Quds News Network has reported the Israeli occupation repeatedly refused to grant Aisha’s family permits to visit during her treatment under the pretext of security concerns.
Because the Lulu family was prevented from escorting their child, a woman in the occupied West Bank volunteered to accompany her from the Beit Hanoun crossing (so-called Erez) on 17 April.
According to Days of Palestine, those who witnessed her last moments said that “she died crying, unable to speak, and alone”.
The family said they reached out to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah to intervene, but received no response from them.
In an interview, Aisha’s father Sam Lulu said that he also appealed to local media and officials, including PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, to coordinate and allow the relatives to accompany Aisha. However, the family’s pleas were “ignored”.
Palestinians in Gaza requiring vital medical treatment in Al-Quds or the West Bank can only exit the enclave through the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanoun crossing with an Israeli approved permit.
Occupation authorities repeatedly deny medical permits as well as family accompaniment to hundreds of Gazans.
According to WHO, “the ability of Gaza’s hospitals to provide adequate diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients is severely limited due to chronic shortages of medicines and lack of medical equipment.”
In 2017, Israeli authorities approved only 54 per cent of medical permit applications, the lowest rate since the World Health Organization (WHO) began collecting figures in 2008.
WHO reported that 54 Palestinians, 46 of whom had cancer, died in 2017 following denial or delay of their permits.