Gaza, ALRAY - A Palestinian woman sick with a heart disease died Wednesday morning at Eretz crossing in northern Gaza Strip.
Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said that Wedad Deeb, 71, died while waiting at the Israeli side of the crossing, adding that she was on her way to a West Bank hospital to get medical treatment.
Al-Qedra did not identified the deceased woman. He explained that she got referred by the ministry to undergo a surgery in a Nablus hospital, northern occupied West Bank.
Restrictions of movement through the Rafah crossing effective since July 2013 have seen referrals of patients to Egypt falling by half and increasing by 22 per cent to destinations requiring access through Erez, according to Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Patient permit applications during the second half of 2013 increased by 28.7 per cent compared to the first half of the year, the office stats showed.
It added that eighty-eight per cent of these applications during 2013 were approved, 11.7 per cent delayed and 0.3 per cent denied.
On a related note, the restrictions at Rafah practically halted shipments of medical aid used to be donated by international solidarity groups, which had accounted for 30 per cent of medicines used by the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
According to the Palestinian terminal authority in Rafah, there were no shipments of drugs in the second half of 2013 except for a single delivery comprising four truckloads in November, donated by the Union of Arab Physicians in Egypt.