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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why did this Gaza baby die?

Ma'an reports:
The number of Palestinians to die as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian siege of Gaza reached 337 when an infant succumbed to illness on Monday.

The child, 12-month-old Muhammad Rami Ibrahim Nofal, was not issued a permit for medical treatment abroad, despite his serious heart condition. He died at a Khan Younis hospital while doctors waited for the permit that never came.

In a statement, the de facto Health Ministry said it had appealed to Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah border crossing for the movement of patients seeking treatment abroad.
Here's one of the stories where you have to read between the lines. Notice that nowhere in the story does it say that Israeli authorities were even contacted to treat the boy, and that Hamas only asked Egypt for help.

Some more details on the situation from IPS:

A Referral Abroad Department (RAD), comprising Gaza-based PA officials who
liaise with the West Bank's Ramallah government, was established by Hamas officials to coordinate the transfer of patients out of Gaza.

However, on Mar. 22, Hamas dismissed RAD's PA officials and replaced them with its own employees. The dismissal was based on Hamas accusations of nepotism and political favouritism by the PA in the issuance of the exit permits. Hamas also refused to cover the travel expenses of patients as the PA had previously done.

The Egyptian authorities, under pressure from Ramallah, then refused to allow those Gazan patients with Hamas documentation to cross over into Egypt.

Following the intervention of human rights organisations and Egyptian civil
rights groups, a compromise was reached Apr. 26 allowing a number of patients to
once again leave Gaza. The compromise involved Hamas reinstating the PA
officials, and the PA agreeing to establish a non-partisan medical committee to
approve the referrals abroad. Hamas has expressed reservations about the new
committee. Some patients who managed to cross the border with Hamas
documentation were, however, turned away at Egyptian hospitals because the
hospitals demanded PA references.

Since March, Hamas has been playing games with Gazans' lives, severely limiting the number of patients who go to Israel (the number plumetted from 325 in March to 90 in April.) Similarly, the PA has been telling Egypt not to accept patients with Hamas paperwork, causing more deaths.

Here is a clear case of people dying because of Palestinian Arab actions, that the world believes is because of the Israeli "siege."