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In isolation, main Gaza hospital struggles to get by

With border security tight, Gaza's Shifa Hospital lacks supplies to treat its patients.

That, Jazzar said, is placing a massive financial, medical and psychological burden on the patients.
“We try everything,” he said. “We try to help the cancer patients. Can you imagine? It takes a month to get permission to go to Egypt and get treatment for two minutes every two days. From waiting, people are dying.”

Several doctors blamed hospital administrators who, they said, are doing little to improve the hospital’s plight. In fact, Hamas seems more intent on consolidating power within the hospital walls — by replacing key personnel with those loyal to the militant group — than improving services, doctors say.

Ahmed, a 25 year-old waiter, said that he’s been trained as a nurse but is being forced to work at a central Gaza restaurant for refusing to support Hamas.

“I don’t support Hamas or Fatah,” he said, referring to the two main Palestinian political groups, “but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get a job at Shifa while Hamas rules Gaza.”

Editor's note: In the fourth century B.C., Alexander the Great forged a path from Greece through the modern Middle East to Persia. It was a path of conquest that empires would follow through the ages. Traces of each can be seen today in the culture, monuments, continuing military presence and people along the route, which ended for Alexander in Babylon, in modern-day Iraq. In this project, GlobalPost correspondent Theodore May sets out to see how Alexander’s influence lives on. He will be blogging about his travels at Backpacking to Babylon.