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HRW calls on PA to approve treatment of patients in Gaza

Palestinians, who were wounded by Israeli soldiers during a protest, organized to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, and against United States' plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, receive treatments at European Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on 17 May, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]
Injured Palestinians can be seen after they were wounded by Israeli soldiers during the Great March of Return in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 May 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Human Rights Watch yesterday called on the Palestinian Authority to issue the necessary medical treatment approvals for patients in the Gaza Strip immediately.

In a statement, the organisation stressed that the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza, with Egyptian support, and disputes over funding between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas made it difficult for medical facilities to operate because of the severe shortage of electricity, basic medicines, medical equipment and tools.

The statement said that doctors in Gaza told Physicians for Human Rights – Israel that they were unable to provide the necessary treatment for many of the injured.

The international organisation called on the Israeli authorities to stop its policy of preventing exit permits for humanitarian passage for Palestinians injured in protests.

Read: Israel to limit helium supplies to Gaza, restricting hospitals

It added that the repeated use of lethal force by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since 30 March against unarmed Palestinian demonstrators who did not threaten the lives of others could amount to “war crimes”.

It went on:

The killings highlight the need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official investigation into the situation in Palestine, and other countries should impose sanctions against those responsible for serious human rights violations.

Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division, said that the international community must end the fait accompli in Gaza, where Israel conducts investigations to justify the actions of its forces, while the United States is preventing any international accountability through the use of the veto in the UN Security Council.

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