US charity opens cancer ward for children in Gaza

A US charity has inaugurated the first children’s cancer department in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The $3 million department, sponsored by the Palestine Children Relief Fund, will help many children avoid the difficult journey of exiting the blockaded area for treatment in Israel and the West Bank, often without an accompanying parent.

At today’s opening, it is called “a symbol of hope.”

The facility — a new floor at Gaza’s pediatric hospital — will provide chemotherapy, though bone marrow transplants and nuclear medicine won’t be available.

The fund says it has an agreement with the World Health Organization to secure free movement of samples to labs in Israel or Jordan.

Israel and Egypt blockaded Gaza, home to 2 million people, when the jihadist Hamas group seized power there in 2007.

— AP

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