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Thursday, January 20, 2005

PA stopping sick Palestinians from going to Egypt

For the couple of people left who still think that the PA has the least interest in the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs:

The Palestinian Authority is blocking dozens of seriously ill Palestinians from going from Gaza to Egypt for medical treatment, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The Tel Aviv-based Physicians for Human Rights said the Palestinians were exploiting the sick for propaganda purposes. A Palestinian health official denied the charge.

The rights group petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of six ill Palestinians, and an agreement was reached to allow the Palestinians to leave by an alternative route, said Shabtai Gold, a spokesman for PHR.

The same route was used recently to bus out thousands of Palestinians going on the Hajj Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

But the Palestinian Authority refused to let them leave, Gold said.

The group was 'surprised and dismayed to discover that the Palestinian Authority is barring these patients from leaving the Gaza Strip for political reasons,' PHR said in a statement.

Among those the group petitioned for are a cancer patient, a man who needs a liver transplant and two people suffering gunshot wounds, Gold said.

However, there are dozens more sick Palestinians who also need to leave for treatment, Gold said.