Allowing Patients to Leave the Gaza Strip for Medical Treatment

© Rafael Ben Ari - Dreamstime.com

Following the annexation plan, the Palestinian Authority has stopped coordinating security efforts with Israel. This leaves Palestinians in Gaza with no place to submit a humanitarian request to leave Gaza for the West Bank or Israel through Erez Crossing. Currently, the Palestinian Authority refuses to pass requests to Israel, while Israel refuses to accept any requests not passed through the Palestinian Authority, with the exception of very serious medical situations. As a result, many patients needing treatment in Israel or the West Bank are unable to leave the Strip.

On 18.6.2020, ACRI, Physicians for Human Rights, Adalah, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, and Gisha appealed to the Minister of Defense, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and the Attorney General. In the letter, we demanded to remove the bureaucratic limitations on submitting permit requests to pass Erez Crossing, to clarify how a permit may be requested, and to make public the alternative procedure for submitting a request. We informed them that “there are dozens of patients for whom crucial treatment is unavailable in the Gaza Strip, and who are currently awaiting to be allowed to enter the West Bank and Israel. Among the patients, many suffer from cancer or other life threatening illnesses, among them minors, and every delay in treatment is causing them suffering, irreversible damages, and even death”.

In the letter, we highlighted that it is Israel who controls checkpoint passings, determines permit criteria for Gaza residents into Israel or the West Bank, and who approves and produces the permits. Therefore, it is Israel’s duty to ensure the passing of Gaza residents into the West Bank and Israel.

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