In a report published September 26, 2005, Physicians for Human Rights -Israel reported that implications of the Israeli military procedures, and unilateral disengagement on the lives of the ill residents living in the Gaza Strip.

“Gaza became a prison, the poorly functioning border with Egypt, and the closed border with Israel, making Gaza a big prison; patients unable to leave for vital life saving treatments”, PHR reported.

The PHR said in its report that hundreds of ill residents who receive medical treatment in Israel or Egypt, are trapped in the Gaza Strip, waiting for the gates to open.

The full closure which Israel imposed over the Gaza Strip since it started implementing disengagement prevents entry into Israel or even passage into the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

 

Also, the PHR reported that the border with Egypt is closed, until further notice. “It was only opened for about a day and then closed again”, PHR report said, “It is unclear when it will be opened again”.

The PHR received several complaints after hundreds of residents have been left without treatment. .

It should be noted that many treatments are not available in the Gaza Strip (such as catheterization and heart operations, burns, pediatric cardiology, neurosurgery and so on).  Other treatments exist, but not at an adequate standard.  

“No steps were taken to ensure continuity of medical treatment for the patients”, the PHR report revealed, “Israel is not conducting the needed arrangements to enable passage of the ill residents”.

“Israel is relieving itself of its obligation to allow patients to enter and pass through its territory”, the PHR reported, “It says that patients can use the crossing to Egypt, even though patients in emergency situations or in dire medical conditions would not survive the ride to Egypt”.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel demanded that Israel publish the text of the agreement with Egypt regarding passage from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, and should disclose the extent to which it will influence free passage via this border.

Also, the PHR added that the continued Israeli intervention in the entry and exit of the Palestinians is considered a “continued occupation”, although it is through different means.

“Israel bears the responsibility of whatever happens in the area as long as it influences the entry to and from Gaza”, PHR report reads, “it bears responsibility for the suffering of the patients in the Gaza Strip, If Gaza becomes a prison with Israel as its warden, that warden bears full responsible for those under its custody”.

http://www.phr.org.il/phr/files/articlefile_1127725129004.doc

The full report includes detailed descriptions of the problems, case examples, the bureaucratic processes which prevent the patients from receiving treatment as well as recommendations and conclusions.

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