Alarmerande pressmeddelande från PCHR i Gaza

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release

Gaza Strip Patients Struggling against Death due to the Closure:
Palestinian Child Dies as a result of Delay in Allowing Entry to Hospital

PCHR strongly condemns Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) for violating Palestinians’ rights to health, and depriving them of treatment in medical facilities outside the Gaza Strip. Restricting movement of patients to hospitals in the West Bank and Israel effectively puts them in a struggle against death. Most recently, a Palestinian child died after delaying his entry to Ichilov hospital inside Israel.

The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that the child Amir Shaher Abdallah El-Yazji (8) from Sheikh Radwan Quarter in Gaza City died on Monday 19 November 2007. The child’s death came after IOF delayed his entry through Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint to Ichilov hospital in Israel despite having the necessary permits to enter.

The child’s father, Shaher El-Yazji, stated that on Sunday, 18 November 2007, he obtained a permit for his child to enter through Erez and head to Ichilov hospital for an MRI. He attempted to take his son through the crossing 4 times during the day. However, IOF prevented their entry, citing objection to the medical personnel charged with delivering the child to the Israeli ambulance on the other side of the checkpoint. At about 16:45, IOF informed the father that the child should be taken across in 15 minutes. However, it was not possible at the time to do so as the child’s condition deteriorated, and he was in the intensive care unit in Naser Pediatric hospital in Gaza City.

Physicians in Naser hospital indicated that the child was unconscious, and was suffering from an undiagnosed condition in the brain and high blood pressure. They suspected that the child was suffering from a brain tumor.

The child died yesterday morning after efforts to transfer him to the Israeli hospital failed. This brings to 10 the number of Gaza patients who died since last August as a result of denying them their medical rights. The victims include 2 women and an infant.

PCHR condemns denying the child Amir El-Yazji the right to medical treatment, and:

  1. Calls upon the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to pressure IOF to respect International Humanitarian Law, and to cease their policy of collective punishment against eh civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
  2. Calls upon these Parties to work to ensure that Palestinian patients have free and timely access to healthcare facilities outside the Gaza Strip. 
  3. Calls upon international organizations working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to act against this policy of collective punishment of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, and to act to stop the deterioration of the humanitarian and health situation by ensuring the safe and timely passage of food and medicine so as to protect the lives of the civilian population of the Strip.
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