The use of depleted uranium shells against Gaza civilians in 2008 and 2009 has caused a massive rise in cancer among that population, a new report has revealed.
Information provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed that in February 2013, 12.4% of the total deaths in Palestine were caused by cancer , compared to a rate of 10.8% in 2010.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights indicated in a report issued in June 2012 that deaths resulting from cancer in the Gaza Strip amounted to 12% of all deaths, making cancer the second-leading cause of death in the Gaza Strip after heart disease.
Dr. Khalid Thabet, head of the Oncology Department at the government-run Shifa Hospital, said that he expects the rate of cancer patients to double over the next five years in the Gaza Strip, due to the uranium used by Israel in its attacks against the Gaza Strip during the 2008-2009 war.
Males make up 47% of cancer patients in the Gaza Strip and females account for 53%. Breast cancer is the most common disease, accounting for 16.5% of all cancer cases. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer, accounting for 9.7% of all diagnoses, and is the leading form of cancer among men.
The Zionist blockade of Gaza has exacerbated the situation by causing a serious shortage in medical equipment and doctors specializing in oncology.
This leaves residents with only one choice – to seek treatment outside Gaza. But patients are forced to wait months before they receive a permit from the Zionist controllers to leave Gaza for neighboring countries for diagnosis and treatment.