Closure of Ben-Gurion airport blocks cancer patients from life-saving procedures

Reports emerged this week that the closure of Israel’s international airport stopped cancer patients from receiving critical treatments in Austria.

By World Israel News Staff

A representative of Yad Ezer in Vienna told Israel Hayom on Wednesday that cancer patients the organization was assisting to travel to Austria have no means to reach Europe due to Israel’s closure of Ben-Gurion Airport.

Yad Ezer facilitates life-saving treatments for such cancer patients.

“Any delay to treatment can cause the tumor to spread and lead to a secondary growth, and then, the chances of survival are very low,” the Yad Ezer commented, noting that if these patients miss their appointments, other individuals will be treated instead.

Israel shut down the Ben-Gurion Airport to staunch the spread of the coronavirus, which continues to wreak havoc.

Reports about the cancer patients also indicated that Israelis who came to Austria for treatments are now stuck there, with patients’ ages raging from three years old to 70, according to Israel Hayom.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to lengthen the closure for at least another two weeks.

“We are hermetically closing the skies apart from very rare exceptions in order to prevent the entry of mutated viruses and in order to ensure that we will advance quickly with our vaccines operation,” Netanyahu said on Sunday, when the decision was taken to shut the airport as of Monday at midnight.

“We are thereby ensuring that the damage from the mutation, if it enters, and from additional variants, if they enter, will be much smaller.”

The government decision allows for emergency or humanitarian exceptions to fly into Israel as well as private planes with up to nine seats, but that would allow only those who can afford the exceptionally high cost of the private flights on planes with an estimated cost of about $10,000 per hour of flight time, the report said.