The Israeli Security Services refused to grant a permit to a Palestinian patient, suffering from Intestines Cancer, to leave the Gaza Strip in order to receive medical treatment in an Israeli medical center.The patient, Mahmoud Abu Taha, 21, from Rafah city in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, was diagnosed with Cancer in August 2007.

Medical centers in the Gaza Strip tried to provide Abu Taha with the needed treatment but the ongoing Israeli siege over the Gaza Strip caused sharp shortages in medicine  and medical equipment.

After the health condition of Abu Taha had sharply deteriorated, physicians decided that he needs to receive Chemotherapy again and that he should be transferred to Tal Ha-Shomer Israeli hospital in Ramat Gan.

Hani, the brother of Mahmoud, told investigators of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) that on October 18 last year, Mahmoud received a permit to enter Israel for medical treatment, but when he and his father went to the Eretz crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and after waiting nearly for two hours, they were informed that he is not allowed to enter Israel.

Abu Taha waited the whole time in the ambulance of the European Hospital and was breathing through an oxygen mask as he cannot breathe on his own.

Yet, the Israeli Security Services arrested the father and informed the son that he is not allowed into Israel.

The family filed another appeal to allow their son into Israel for treatment but did not receive any response yet.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, stated that the Shabak security services did not comment on this issue.

Physicians For Human Rights in Israel (PHR)received several complaints of similar cases, and said that Israel is using a policy regarding this issue; the policy states that entry for treatment in Israel have two different standards, which means that Israel would allow someone to enter Israel because he is facing death, but will not grant him entry if physicians treating him wants to save one of his body parts.

The PHR stated that it has testimonies from patients who lost some of their body parts because they were barred from leaving the Gaza Strip for medical treatment. 

But senior officials at the PHR in Israel believe that after Israel declared the Gaza Strip as a hostile entity, even patients who are facing imminent death were not allowed to enter Israel. One of these cases is the case of Abu Taha as he could lose his life if not allowed to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment.

Last week, Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that on Saturday at night (January 26) two patients died in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli Authorities barred them from leaving the Gaza Strip for medical treatment abroad

The sources added that a total of 83 Palestinian patients, including 16 children, died due to the ongoing Israeli siege and blockade over the coastal region.

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