RAMALLAH, Saturday, May 18, 2019 (WAFA) – Minister of Health Mai Alkaila said on Saturday that the case of deceased Aisha Lulu, 5 years old, from Bureij refugee camp in Gaza, who died shortly after returning from her treatment journey alone in Jerusalem, is a reflection of the oppression and suffering of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
None of Lulu’s family members were allowed by Israel to be on her side in hospital as applications by her family members to accompany her to Jerusalem for her complicated brain surgery were denied.
“How can a little child travel alone through Israeli checkpoints without being escorted by her mother, father or brother to provide her with affection and psychological support during treatment?” Alkaila wondered in a press statement.
“Aisha had to fight her disease alone, in a blatant disregard to international agreements, covenants and treaties on human rights, children‘s rights, the right to health and access to health services in a safe manner,” added the Minister.
Aisha passed through critical psychological and physical pain before and after the surgery, with her parents and family away. She was seen crying and calling for her mother loudly to be beside her in the hospital. She was back to Gaza alone again after the surgery for follow up treatment at Gaza hospitals.
Aisha did not stay long afterwards, and passed away with bitterness a couple of days ago.
Alkaila called on all international organizations and countries of the free world to intervene to allow patients from the Gaza Strip, especially children, to be escorted by their relatives during treatment in Israel or the West Bank in order to be given the necessary psychological support.
Last month, the World Health Organization said out of 2,004 patient applications submitted in March for an Israeli permit to cross Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel for health care outside the besieged Gaza Strip, only 1,293 (65%) of the total were approved, and 74 patient applications were denied permission, including four children under the age of 18 years.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health called on “the World Health Organization, OHCHR, UN agencies and organizations, Human and humanitarian and child rights organizations and institutions and the international community for the prompt intervention and exerting pressure on the Israeli authorities to allow the smooth access of patients WITH their COMPANIONS to the health facilities wherever the service is available, especially those referred from Gaza Strip to West Bank including East Jerusalem or other places that require the Israeli permits.”