Israeli human rights groups work D.C.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Officials from Israeli human rights groups in meetings with staffers for U.S. lawmakers and Obama administration officials pressed for greater access to the Gaza Strip.

Officials from Physicians for Human  Rights and B’Tselem met this week with staffers for several lawmakers from both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. They also held a public event in the Capitol.

The officials lobbied to ease the flow of medical workers to and from the Gaza Strip, for training and for treatment, as well as for increased movement for those needing medical attention and for medical supplies.

Physicians for Human Rights says the flow of medical supplies into Gaza has dropped drastically since Israel’s military operation in January against Hamas terrorists, and that the number of patients allowed out for medical care has decreased from about 1,500 to several hundred a month.

B’tselem is pressing for Israel to set up a commission independent of the army to investigate alleged human rights abuses during the war.

The activists also pressed for greater freedom of movement in the West Bank while noting recent improvements instituted by the new government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Recommended from JTA