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First patient in Gaza dies after recent closure of Rafah Crossing with Egypt

A Palestinian citizen from the Gaza Strip died of a serious illness on Monday night after he was prevented from traveling through the Rafah Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.


The citizen was named by medical sources in Gaza as Wael Abu-Sada, 40. He was the father of five children.

He had been suffering from a serious heart disease for nine years. His health situation deteriorated recently and he was planning to travel to Amman for heart surgery over the recent days, but he was not allowed to leave Gaza.

The deceased's relatives said that on Monday night his condition severely deteriorated and he was quickly rushed to a hospital in Gaza, but a few minutes later he was pronounced dead.

Doctors in the hospital attributed his death to the urgent need for resetting his heart-pulse regulator, and that could not be done except through heart surgery. They said he should have travelled to Jordan to have that surgery, which could not be done in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza says that 9,500 citizens have now registered to travel through the Rafah Crossing. It said that 4,500 of them are patients and students in urgent need to travel for treatment or to attend their schools.

Palestinian patients in Gaza can also travel through the Eretz Crossing with the Israeli occupation in the north of the Gaza Strip. The problem is that the Israelis rarely issue passage permits to them to travel to hospitals in the West Bank or Jordan.

Sometimes, they detain the travellers despite their serious illnesses, or they detain some of their relatives accompanying them for assistance.

Hundreds of Gaza residents died for the same reason between 2006, when the siege started, and 2011, when the Egyptian revolution ousted Pro-Israel Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The situated was eased until the recent military coup against freely elected President Mohammed Morsi on 3 July.

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