AMNESTY International issued a press release on Wednesday stating that the Israeli army barred resident Karima Abu Dalal, 34, from leaving the Gaza Strip in order to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.AMNESTY stated that Israel must allow Abu Dalal to leave the Gaza Strip in order to obtain the needed medical care.

 “Karima Abu Dalal's life now hangs in the balance because of the Israeli army's failure to allow her a permit to leave Gaza to obtain specialist cancer treatment not available there," said Amnesty International. "The Israeli authorities should immediately allow her to access the treatment she needs."

At least 40 Palestinian patients died in the Gaza Strip in recent months as Israel barred them from leaving the Gaza Strip for treatment in Israel and elsewhere, as Gaza Strip hospitals cannot provide treatment due to the ongoing siege which emptied the hospitals from medical supplies and medications.

 In its statement, AMNESTY said that Abu Dalal suffers from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is a form on cancer which could be cure if medical care is provided in time. Recently, her condition had sharply deteriorated and she developed difficulties in walking and breathing.

Local physicians in Gaza stated that she needs to be urgently moved into an advanced medical facility in Israel.

 AMNESTY also reported that since the Israeli government tightened its siege over the Gaza Strip in June 2007 and closed the border between Gaza and Egypt, 1.5 Million Palestinians became imprisoned in the Gaza Strip and have to obtain permits from the Israeli Authorities in order to leave the Gaza Strip.

The permits are usually denied although Israel said that there are humanitarian exceptions where permits are granted to terminally ill residents. Yet, scores of Palestinian patients were barred from leaving the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday at night, resident Jazyiah Abu Hilal, 65, from Gaza city died from a chronic illness. For several months she was prevented by the army from leaving Gaza to obtain life saving treatment, doctors said.

The death of Abu Hilal, brings the number of Palestinians dead, because of being denied permission to leave Gaza for medical care to 118, according to medical sources in the Palestinian coastal region.

Sections of AMNESTY’s report:

Abu Dalal received a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Egypt before the Israeli authorities closed the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in June 2007. This treatment was apparently successful.

The Israeli army issued Karima Abu Dalal with a permit allowing her to leave the Gaza Strip in August 2007 to undergo courses of chemotherapy in Nablus in the West Bank. She responded

positively to these and was due to return to Nablus in November 2007 for further treatment, but her requests to do so were rejected by the Israeli military authorities for unspecified “security reasons”.

The Israeli High Court of Justice also refused a petition against this decision stating

that they saw “no grounds for intervention”.

Karima Abu Dalal has been treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. But doctors there say she now needs more specialist care at an advanced medical centre in Israel if she is to have any chance of survival