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Gaza Patients, including Child, Denied Exit Permit

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JERUSALEM, October 23, 2012 (WAFA) – Israel denied in September 16 Gaza patients, including one child, the right to travel to the West Bank to receive medical treatment, according to the World Health Organization’s monthly report on referral of patients from the Gaza Strip published Monday.

It said that 705 patients applied to the Israeli District Liaison Office (DCL) to cross Erez to access hospitals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in Israel or Jordan.

The Israeli authorities gave permits to cross Erez checkpoint to 647 patients but denied them to 16 patients - seven females and nine males, including one child, said the WHO report.

It said six of the patients denied permit were seeking orthopedics treatment, four ophthalmology, two neurosurgery, and one each for gynecology, nuclear medicine, nephrology and neurology.

Of the 16 denied patients, nine had appointments at Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem, four in Ramallah and three in other areas of the West Bank.

In addition 42 patients, including 12 children, received no answer to their applications and missed their hospital appointment date. Of the delayed patients, six waited more than two weeks for their application to be studied, three waited more than one month.

While the Palestinian Ministry of Health did not refer any patient to hospitals in Jordan in September due to the financial crisis, most of the referrals were made to hospitals in East Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank.

The report said 12 patients, including two females and 10 males, were requested to appear for Israeli security interviews.

A patient’s companion, who had a valid permit, was detained while crossing through Erez.

Khalil Najjar, 44, was arrested at Erez checkpoint as he was traveling to accompany his 69-year-old brother, Awni, who had undergone knee replacement surgery at Makassed hospital.

According to District Liaison Office in Gaza, Najjar applied to the DLO on September 23 in order to travel to Jerusalem on September 27. The Israeli DLO responded on September 26 that his application was being ‘under study.’ Later Najjar was informed that he obtained a permit to travel on October 3.

He traveled to Erez crossing and was detained while undergoing the regular security procedures for pedestrians. As of the publication of this report, Najjar remained imprisoned.

M.S.

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