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Monday, October 06, 2008

10,000 Israeli medical permits for Gazans this year

The JCPA has an enlightening table:

Table 1
Referrals and Permits to Enter Israel for Medical Care,
Gaza, 2006-2008

Month

No. of patients applied for permits

No. of patients given permits

Proportion of patients given permits

2006




January

741

719

97.0%

February

769

716

93.1%

March

562

485

86.3%

April

274

209

76.3%

May

453

404

89.2%

June

474

400

84.4%

July

185

171

92.4%

August

293

267

91.1%

September

438

402

91.8%

October

380

345

90.8%

November

509

455

89.4%

December

392

359

91.6%

Total 2006

5470

4932

90.2%

2007




January

506

452

89.3%

February

595

540

90.8%

March

681

607

89.1%

April

515

460

89.3%

May

737

665

90.2%

June

412

368

89.3%

July

859

765

89.1%

August

985

787

79.9%

September

715

591

82.7%

October

1103

850

77.1%

November

654

422

64.5%

December

1041

669

64.3%

Total 2007

8803

7176

81.5%

2008




January

2590

1618

62%

February

2324

1670

72%

March

2569

1747

68%

April

1959

1263

64%

May

1908

1346

70%

June

1851

1152

62%

Total (6M) 2008

13201

8796

66%

Sources: COGAT and WHO, Jerusalem Office 2008. Data from Jan. 2008 ff not yet confirmed by WHO.

Which means that during this horrible "siege," Israel has been doubling and re-doubling the number of patients allowed from Gaza to Israel or the PA for treatment.

While the percentage of permit approvals has dropped, the number of permits has increased dramatically, despite these salient facts:
During this period there were some 30 foiled attempts at terrorist infiltration, including at least 20 incidents where Palestinians used medical missions to attempt terror attacks. In June 2006, a female suicide terrorist was arrested at the Erez crossing while on her way to carry out an attack on an Israeli hospital. In May 2007, two female bombers received permits but were caught after slipping through security checks.7 On May 22, 2008, a truck loaded with 4.5 tons of explosives exploded just before reaching the crossing.

The ISA published reports on 11 individuals, including those just cited, who used permits for medical care or for family visits to patients already in Israel for the purpose of carrying out terror-related activities. At Erez, three patients admitted under questioning that they had purchased referral notes with bogus medical information from doctors in Gaza. According to the ISA, terror organizations were making a special effort to recruit women, including those who are pregnant, who are less likely to be closely examined and whose heavy clothing more readily conceals suspicious objects.8 PHR-I forwarded these patients for approval, unaware of their true status.

Another point is that the number of patients traveling to Israel via Gaza dwarfs the number who go to Egypt.

Here we have another example where Israel's humanitarianism towards a hostile Gaza population, which is is under no obligation to provide, is used as a weapon against it.