Israel Denies Hamas Relatives Permission to Leave Gaza for Medical Treatment


Israel Denies Hamas Relatives Permission to Leave Gaza for Medical Treatment

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Washington, NATO and Israel need enemies to justify their indefensible actions. None exist so they’re invented. 

For US-dominated NATO, it’s all about wanting sovereign independent nations transformed into vassal states. 

For Israel, it’s Hamas, other Palestinian groups resisting illegal occupation, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria – challenging them in pursuit of regional hegemony along with America’s Middle East presence.

Since midi-2007, Gaza has been illegally blockaded for political reasons – unrelated to protecting Israel’s security. Hamas poses no threat. Nor do any regional countries. Claims otherwise are bald-faced lies.

Israel refuses to let Hamas relatives leave Gaza for vital medical treatment in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel or abroad (when unavailable in the Strip) – even if patients have potentially fatal illnesses.

Last week, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Uzi Vogelman said the decision to ban patients from leaving Gaza is “based on assessments” that they pose a security risk.

Since illegal blockade was imposed, an unpunished high crime against humanity, nearly 800 Palestinian patients were denied the right to leave Gaza for urgent treatment unavailable internally.

Hundreds of children, women, the elderly, and others died needlessly for lack of available care they could get outside the Strip if permitted to leave.

According to Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), a petition by the organization, along with the Gisha, Adalah and Al Mezan human rights groups was heard by Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ).

According to PHRI, the “petition argued that the state’s decision not to allow entrance into Israel of female cancer patients (and other patients denied entry on grounds of family ties to a Hamas member) in order to access medical treatment ran counter to ethical values and to the humanitarian obligations of the State of Israel under International Humanitarian Law, and constituted an arbitrary, unreasonable and (dis)proportional decision when viewed under Israeli Law as well.”

The HCJ ruled in favor of petitioners, calling Israel’s actions illegal, disproportional, and contrary to fundamental international humanitarian law principles.

No justification exists for denying Hamas family members essential medical treatment outside Gaza when unavailable internally.

The HCJ also said Gazan patients can’t be used as pawns to pressure or punish Hamas for any reason.

According to PHRI, the petition “was the last recourse in a fight against a cruel policy that affected a particularly vulnerable population – women (and others) facing life-threatening diseases, a policy seemingly meant to further Israeli pressure on Hamas.”

“Our victory at court is first and foremost a victory for those women…men (and children) whose lives depend on Israel issuing entry permits for life-saving treatment, against a backdrop of poverty, closure and a protracted humanitarian crisis.”

Despite PHRI’s optimism over the HCJ ruling, Israel notoriously does what it pleases regardless of judicial decisions against its policies.

Gaza remains illegally blockaded, two million Palestinians virtually imprisoned under concentration camp conditions – enduring protracted humanitarian crisis harshness with nothing in prospect for relief.

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