Thursday, November 22, 2007
Rami Almeghari writing from the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestine, Live from Palestine, 22 November 2007
""We had been waiting for an urgent referral to an outside hospital for the past six days, until he died today," said Dr. Ismail Yassin Monday, in response to the death of one more patient at the Gaza Children's Hospital.
Tamer al-Yazji, a 12-year-old chicken pox patient, died on Monday on his hospital bed after his referral to an Israeli hospital had been delayed.
Dr. Yassin explained that Tamer's condition had gotten worse over the past few weeks, showing symptoms of blood problems in his brain, so the ill-equipped hospital requested his urgent referral for an MRI scan and follow-up, which meant accessing medical care facilities in Israel or Egypt......
"Upon arrival at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza, the Shabak officers start interrogating patients, demanding them to give the Shabak information about friends and neighbors. When a patient refuses to give such information, the Shabak sends him back to Gaza," explained Miri Weingarten of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR), based in Tel Aviv.
Weingarten said that PHR had filed a petition to the Israeli high court requesting three demands: allowing treatment for 11 patients enlisted in the petition, allowing all those in need for referral outside Gaza to travel and stopping the Israeli Shabak's interrogation of Gaza patients who cross the Erez checkpoint.......
In September, Israel declared Gaza a "hostile entity," stepping up attacks on the coastal strip and cutting large quantities of fuel supplies to the 1.4-million-strong population which is dependant on Israel for many basic needs, from water to medication.
Israel cites security reasons for all its actions against the Gaza Strip, namely preventing Palestinian resistance factions from firing homemade rockets onto nearby Israeli towns.
However, in the words of Weingarten, "It is not a matter of security, it's rather a matter of revenge.""