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The Only Democracy? » On The Ground Reports » Response from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Response from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

I wrote Physicians for Human Rights-Israel about the case of Maria Amen we covered previously and the issue of Palestinians getting access to medical treatment. Here is their response, reprinted with permission.

Dear Jesse,

Thanks for approaching us on the issue of the Israeli policy at Erez Crossing. Unfortunately, Maria Amn’s case about which you wrote was one of the very few cases of Palestinians who were accidentally injured during Israeli attacks and were eventually recognized and treated by Israel (thanks to PHR-IL pressure on relevant decision makers).  The recent victims of the Cast Lead attacks were not so lucky.. See more here. As for general inputs on exit of patients from Gaza, I’m hereby attaching a table summarizing WHO (World Health Organization) information.

Note that most of the patients are nowadays referred from Gaza to either East Jerusalem, the West Bank or Jordan, and only a small portion to Israel. As you will notice, the main problem these days is not the denial of exit but the severe delays in the processing of applications (Around 35% of patients applying for permits miss their original medical appointment before receiving any response from Israeli authorities). This policy has, of course, its own implications on the patients’ health. Another problem is the increasing number of patients who are delayed for the purpose of undergoing GSS [security] interrogation prior to consideration of their permit applications. The interrogations pretend to meet security requirements, but in affect we know that many times they serve to put pressure on patients to collaborate with Israeli authorities in return for adequate medical treatment, and in other times they are used to collect intelligence from patients or just to intimidate them. For further information in this regard, please see here.(Another update on this issue is to be released in March). I hope any of this is useful!

Best Wishes,

Reut Katz Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Watch the video from Medical Assistance Palestine of PHR-Israel’s website.

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JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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