Ruling delayed on Israel's responsibility to aid injured Palestinians

Although the Supreme Court delayed a ruling as to whether or not Israel is responsible for providing medical attention to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Magen David Adom teams working under the auspices of the International Red Cross evacuated a number of wounded Gazans to Israeli hospitals. The High Court of Justice ruled late Wednesday morning to delay until next Monday a joint appeal by Doctors for Human Rights and the Gisha Organization for Freedom of Movement for Palestinians demanding that the court require Israel to take responsibility the medical care of refugees stuck at the Erez crossing. The State Attorney's Office said that to allow the Palestinians in - even for medical reasons - was not required by international law. Only in situations where there is human life at stake and when there is no possibility for care in the Gaza Strip could such a proposal be considered, and even then only following approval by security services, a representative of the State Attorney's Office said. According to counts presented by Doctors for Human Rights earlier Wednesday, 15 Palestinians were facing death if they do not receive urgent medical care in Israel. Among those 15 were not just trauma victims from the recent gun battles, but also the chronically ill. Starting in the morning hours, six MDA ambulances were on standby to take wounded Palestinians from the Erez checkpoint to hospitals in Israel. By the early afternoon, MDA teams brought three lightly wounded Gazans to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. In the late afternoon, an additional two moderate-to-lightly wounded Palestinians who had been hurt in last week's fighting were also transferred to Ichilov. In the past two days, at least a dozen Palestinians have been transferred to Israeli hospitals by MDA. The MDA's activities at the Erez crossing have been coordinated from a control room specially set up in Ashdod to manage the situation. The operation is being managed by Katerina Rich, head of the International Red Cross's delegation to the Palestinian Authority. MDA officials speaking Wednesday described a total breakdown of the parallel agencies on the Gaza side of the border.