“The occupation shows no mercy – even the sick are punished.” These are the words of a weary husband, watching his wife battle illness and the Israeli occupation, which barred her from entering Jerusalem to seek treatment in one of its hospitals.
His fate in God his only weapon, Bassam Hazza’ [Abu Iyad] from Qalqilia tells his story.
“My wife has cancer and needs immediate treatment at Al Maqassed Hospital, in Jerusalem, as her health situation is rapidly deteriorating. She cannot even move without someone’s help. After trying everything they could, her doctors decided to transfer her to Al Maqassed for further treatment there and try to stop the deterioration and close up a hole which appeared in one of her leg bones.”
“I applied for a permit for my wife and for myself so I could be there with her during treatment.” Abu Iyad said, “However, the Israeli intelligence services rejected us for ‘security reasons’ because my three sons are imprisoned in the Hasharon Prison.”
“What kind of law governs the occupation? My wife cannot walk, she is quickly slipping away. How does preventing my wife from entering Jerusalem to seek treatment, protect Israel’s security?”
The Hazza’ family has enough grief to cope with. Three of their sons were arrested by the Israeli army.
“My son Iyad, 22, was arrested in a special army operation in 2002 and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Shortly after that, the Israeli attorney general rejected the sentencing and now there is a retrial to try and re-sentence him to life imprisonment”. Abu Iyad said, “As for Hazza’, 21, he was sentenced to 20 consecutive years, my third son, Mohammed is serving four years.”
Denying them permits is nothing new to Hazza’ and his wife. “My wife and I have been banned from visiting our sons for over a year, again for ‘security reasons.’ This has taken a painful toll on us – not only are the occupation’s measures against the prisoners, but their families as well.”
Under the pretext of protecting Israel’s security, several Palestinian patients were denied entry to Israeli for treatment, while others were barred from leaving the country seeking treatment in the neighboring Arabic countries.
Military procedures, checkpoints and closures are considered a new sort of weapon, a weapon which does not fire bullets, shells or missiles, yet a deadly weapon, weapon of slow and painful death.
Throughout the years of the Intifada, several Palestinian pregnant women delivered on Israel checkpoint, some infants died, and in some cases the mothers died too.
Several residents who suffered strokes also died at Israeli military checkpoint as the soldiers insisted to search the ambulance and conduct their “routine” procedures.