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2 Gazans die after Israel denies them medical treatment

Female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip go on hunger strike in protest of an Israeli decision not to allow them to travel through the Erez crossing to seek medical care in Israel on December 21, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Midle East Monitor]
Female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip go on hunger strike in protest of an Israeli decision not to allow them to travel through the Erez crossing to seek medical care in Israel on December 21, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Midle East Monitor]

Two Palestinians died because Israeli authorities refused to issue them exit permits to seek treatment in hospitals in East Jerusalem, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) reported today.

The UK-based NGO reported Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights which said 59-year-old Walid Mohamed Mohamed Qa’oud died on 2 May after cancer metastasised around his body. Al Mezan said requests to the Israeli authorities for a travel permit for Qa’oud to receive treatment at Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem were repeatedly denied or delayed.

The human rights group also reported that Aya Khalil Abu Metalq, aged five, died on 17 April due to a lack of treatment for a metabolic disorder. Israeli authorities twice failed to respond to requests submitted by Aya’s family to travel to appointments at Al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem.

Israel, as the occupying power of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), is obliged to ensure that adequate medical care is provided to the people under its effective control

MAP said in a statement.

Neil Sammonds, director of advocacy for MAP, said: “It is exactly when we need to see Israel taking significant steps to improve its record in facilitating travel permits for essential medical treatment outside Gaza that we are witnessing the opposite. We urge all those with influence to ensure that positive changes are quickly made, before yet more lives are put at risk.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 40 per cent of requests to exit Gaza for medical appointments were denied or delayed by the Israeli authorities in February 2017. The approval rate for such travel requests has declined year on year since 2012, when eight per cent of such requests were denied or delayed.

Read: Gaza women cancer patients start hunger strike to protest Israel treatment ban

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