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Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Urgent Appeal for Intervention

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Help Demand Access of Seven Gaza Patients to Lifesaving Care Unavailable in Gaza.

On the 10th of October Physicians for Human Rights-Israel sent an urgent request to the Israeli army and Minister of Defense, demanding that seven patients from Gaza whose access to medical care outside Gaza had been denied for “security reasons” be immediately allowed to exit Gaza via the Israeli-controlled Erez Crossing.

The seven patients are:

1. C, in need of urgent bypass heart surgery, referred to a Palestinian hospital in Nablus in the West Bank.

2. T, 53, in need of urgent bypass heart surgery, referred to a Palestinian hospital in Nablus.

3. I, 16, congenital heart disease, referred to urgent catheterization or open heart surgery in a Palestinian hospital in Nablus.

4. I, 27, deaf, suffers from a brain tumor and is referred for surgery to Palestinian St. Joseph’s surgical hospital in East Jerusalem.

5. H, 43, a Hepatitis B patient, with a sarcoma in the jejunum and metastasis in the lung, referred to Palestinian Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem for chemotherapy.

6. I, 20, a cancer patient who was already treated in the past in Israel, is suffering from a relapse and urgently referred to care in Ichilov hospital, Tel Aviv.

7. L, 22, suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma with tumors in the chest, referred to Shiba medical center in Tel Hashomer, Israel.

Despite appeals to the Israeli General Security Service director and the Israel Medical Association, mobilization of Israeli members of Knesset, and extensive local media exposure, no results have been achieved to date.

Since June 2007 the Government of Israel has progressively worsened the conditions for granting permits to patients needing to exit Gaza for medical care unavailable in Gaza. As Rafah Crossing, the only international border with Gaza, has been sealed since 9/6/07, patients now depend totally on Israeli policy for permission to exit, whether to Israel, to the West Bank, to Jordan or to any other country.

We are asking that you urgently intervene on behalf of these individuals, by telephone, email and fax, asking that their access to urgent lifesaving care be immediately granted, and protesting the general Israeli policy of denying Palestinian patients access to medical care unavailable in Gaza:

· IDF Spokesperson, Avi Bnayahu, Telephone + 972 3 569 0797, Fax + 972 3 569 8221

· Israeli Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories, General Yossef Mashlab. Telephone + 972 3 697 5351, + 972 3 697 7957, Fax + 972 3 6976306, mobile phone of aide Mr. Assaf Baharal: + 972 506 234 082, mobile phone of spokesperson Mr. Shlomo Dror: + 972 506 234 053

· Israeli Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak, Telephone + 972 3 697 2090, Fax + 972 3 697 6218

· Chair of the Israeli Medical Association and of the World Medical Association, Dr. Yoram Blashar: Telephone + 972 3 6100422, Fax + 972 3 5750704, email [email protected]

For further details please contact Miri Weingarten, [email protected] < mailto:[email protected]>, +972 546995199, +972 3 6873718 ext. 115

For a previous position paper released by PHR-Israel on Israeli policies at Erez Crossing, and a related article, see: http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=480&catid=42&pcat=42&lang=ENG