U.N. agency: Sick Gazans suffering from closure


As many as six sick Palestinians may be dying each month due to Israel’s recent Gaza Strip clampdown, the World Health Organization said.

The U.N. agency issued a report Tuesday on the price sickly Palestinians are paying for an Israeli closure imposed in response to cross-border rocket fire after Hamas seized control of Gaza last June.

According to the WHO, Israel denied entry permits to 18.5 percent of patients who wanted to leave Gaza in 2007, as opposed to 10 percent the year before.

Between Oct. 1 and March 1, 32 sick Gazans died while awaiting exit permits, the WHO said, though it
allowed that it is hard to know for sure that the delay killed them.

Israel insists it does the most that could be expected to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza in the shadow of its Islamist rulers, who preach the Jewish state’s destruction.

Israeli officials also note that Palestinians can also apply for medical treament in Egypt, another country bordering Gaza.

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