Saturday, April 21, 2007

From Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza

Occupation did not defeat Mansour -cancer will not

"Occupation did not defeat Mansour - neither will cancer

My friend Mansour Thabet, Abu Ghassan, is a political prisoner. He spent 19 years in Israeli jails. His big "error" was to say "no" to the Israeli occupation, just like all the Palestinian people who have always said "no" to the occupation, each in his or her own way.

Now he is out of prison, but suffering from colon cancer and its aftermath. His right leg was amputated due to a rare complication of chemotherapy, deep venous thrombosis. Mansour was its victim.

But in Gaza there is always more to the story.

In Gaza hospitals lack proper and adequate chemotherapy, because of the embargo and sanctions and closure of border crossings. Mansour was denied a permit to enter Israel for treatment because of his jail record. Leaving Gaza via the Palestinian Egyptian border is a big ordeal and an uncertain route, but he might succeed in taking this option for further treatment abroad.

Mansour is a father, with one son and 5 daughters.

I visited him in the hospital. He was frail but smiling, and I was inspired by his full determination and strong will. He was very enthusiastic in pursuing his very successful important project (new horizons for the children) in the Nusseirat refugee camp. There you can meet dozens of young smiling Palestinian kids dancing, singing, painting, reading and dreaming of a better future. They can tell you their great grandparents' stories of their villages and life in Palestine before 1948,
when Palestinians were forced out by a big Zionist colonial plan to compel indigenous people to leave their homes.

In less than 3 weeks Israel will celebrate its independence day. Palestinians will commorate what happened in 1948, they will tell their children again and again about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Is it just that Palestinian patients have had to suffer twice, from their own illness and then from the Occupation whose rules and regulations deprive people of their humanity and dignity?"

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