Thursday, May 21, 2009

Power Struggle Killing Patients

By Mel Frykberg

"GAZA CITY, May 21 (IPS) - The lives of hundreds of critically ill Gazans continue to be jeopardised by the power struggle between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, and political blackmail by Israel.....

Gaza's dilapidated medical system, and a critical shortage of equipment due to Israel's embargo on the strip, has forced many to seek travel to neighbouring Arab countries, Israel and further abroad for treatment.

But for a patient to leave, both the Israelis, who control the northern Erez crossing, and the Egyptians who control the southern Rafah crossing into Egypt, require the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls the West Bank, to approve exit documentation.

Following Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the Egyptians and Israelis refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the Islamic resistance organisation, even though it won democratic elections at the beginning of 2006......"

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