JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Norwegian doctor who was among the authors of a letter slamming Israel published in The Lancet was banned from entering Israel, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said.
Dr. Mads Gilbert has been banned from entering Israel for security reasons, the ministry told the French news agency AFP, and not Gaza as was widely reported. The ministry also said that the ban is not permanent.
Since Egypt’s Rafah crossing has been closed for several weeks, the only way to enter Gaza is via Israel.
In “An open letter for the people of Gaza” published this summer in The Lancet, a British medical journal, Gilbert and his co-authors accused Israel of committing a “massacre” in Gaza, among other things.
The doctor has spent over 30 years working in international conflict areas, especially Gaza. He spent more than a month this summer working at Shifa Hospital there helping to treat some of the thousands injured in Israel’s operation in Gaza.
Gilbert reportedly was traveling to Gaza late last month and was prevented from crossing from Israel into Gaza.
Norwegian government officials reportedly have asked Israel to change its decision.