HR group: Palestinians died awaiting treatment

IDF checking claims that 5 died because they were denied entry to Israel for medical attention.

Hospital generic 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski  [file])
Hospital generic 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Five Palestinians, including a one-year-old baby, have died in Gaza over the past two months after Israel rejected on security grounds or delayed their requests to cross the border for treatment in Israel or elsewhere, Physicians for Human Rights announced Thursday. "The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) misuses and overuses security reasons for rejecting requests by Palestinians of all ages," said PHR in a press statement. "These deaths point to the urgent need for public oversight of the ISA, which has been given unlimited power in this matter. These cases, like others, are examples of the fact that the manipulative use made of 'security' by the ISA costs lives." The baby who died, Bian Abu Halu, was born with a genetic heart disease and began life-saving treatment at Hadassah-University Medical Center, Ein Kerem. Her parents set a date with the hospital for a second visit to Hadassah. However, the army refused to allow the baby's parents to accompany her, on security grounds. As a result, the baby lost her appointment. The family then arranged another appointment in which she was to have been accompanied by other family members. However, she died three days prior to the appointment. Fatma Mahdi, 77, was diagnosed with a cancerous growth in her neck. She went for treatment to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv in July and was supposed to return for an operation and radiation and chemotherapy treatment the following month. The family set a date for the second visit and then applied for a permit to enter Israel. They did not receive an answer. They set another date with the hospital and applied again for a permit. Once again, they did not receive an answer. The same thing happened twice more. The woman died in a Gaza hospital on February 11. The Office of the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories said it is investigating the claims.