Gaza: Shin Bet prevented medical care to Palestinian cancer patient

October 27th, 2007 | Posted in Corporate Media, Palestine, Politics, Repression, War and Terror

    By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent


    Photo: Red Crescent / Red Cross

The Shin Bet is refusing to allow a 21-year-old Rafiah man who is sick with cancer and in need of immediate medical care to come to Israel, even though he obtained permission from the Israeli Defense Forces’ Coordination and Liaison Administration.

The Shin Bet also arrested the patient’s father, who accompanied him to the hospital.

Mahmoud Abu Taha was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine in August 2007. Treatment in Gaza was unsuccessful, and he lost a third of his body weight. In addition, he is not taking all of the vitamins he needs because of the shortage of medications in Gazan hospitals.

Because of his serious condition, the doctors decided to postpone chemotherapy and send him to Tel HaShomer hospital in Ramat Gan. According to Mahmoud’s brother, Hanni Abu Taleh, on October 18, they received permission shortly after they filed a request with the IDF. The father and his sick son drove in an ambulance to Erez Crossing, and after a half-hour wait, the father’s name was called on the loudspeaker.

According to the brother, the patient continued to wait in the ambulance, lying on a stretcher and attached to an oxygen tank and an infusion. After two hours, it was announced on the loudspeaker that he was denied entrance into Israel.

They returned to the hospital in Khan Yunis. At the same time, a person who identified himself as an officer with the Shin Bet called Hanni and told him that his father had been arrested.

The family filed another request for Mahmoud to come for medical treatment at Tel HaShomer, but they still have not received a reply.

The Shin Bet maintains that “Abu Taha arrived at the Erez Crossing during a specific warning of a terror attack at the border crossing. Due to the fact that it was not allowed to carry out a security check on him, he was prevented from exiting to Israel.”

The Shin Bet also said that the father of Mahmoud was arrested on suspicion of involvement in terror activities.

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