In the last few weeks, a spate of reports has emerged about Shin Bet’s refusal to admit Palestinian patients from
The 47-year-old Palestinian known as H. apparently suffers from a liver tumor and urgently needs to undergo a biopsy that would enable treatment. Meanwhile, C. is a Palestinian who requires urgent surgery, A. is a 20-year-old Palestinian woman who suffers from cancer and needs to urgently visit a hospital, 16-year-old girl T. suffers from a heart defect and urgently requires catheterization or surgery, 20-year-old L. has cancer and needs radiation and chemotherapy, and 27-year-old A. has a brain tumor and requires urgent treatment.
All these cases were examined by senior Israeli oncologists and cardiologists who ruled that treatment is urgently needed and postponing it endangers the lives of the patients. The State of Israel rejected the requests, arguing that the six are prevented from entering
You never know what desperate acts a dying person may carry out, so you can’t be too careful. That’s why a permit to leave the strip isn’t good enough. As Amira Hass writes, for example,
Mahmoud Abu Taha was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine in August 2007. Treatment in
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
The Shin Bet also arrested the patient's father, who accompanied him to the hospital.
Not content to deprive Gazans of treatment in
…on Tuesday, 6 November 2007, IOF detained Dr. Nabih Abu Sha’ban (52), a neurosurgeon from
The Center’s lawyer visited Dr. Abu Sha’ban in El-Majdal prison on Monday, 12 November 2007. He informed the lawyer that he is being questioned about patients he treated in
Nail al-Kurdi, a 20-year-old
Despite numerous requests by Physicians for Human Rights, the Shin Bet security service denied his entrance due to security reasons.
The rights group said Sunday that they have been submitting requests to allow his entrance into
"The court decided to give the state time to examine its policy on the matter, despite the numerous medical opinions presented to them which warned that if al-Kurdi would not receive medical treatment immediately, he would die," a statement by the organization said.
But what of those fortunate enough not only to secure a permit, but actually to enter the Jewish state for treatment? Esti Aharonovitz, writing in Friday’s Ha’aretz, reports,
This week, [the deputy head of the orthopedic oncology department at Ichilov Hospital, Dr. Yehuda] Kollender recalled: "A little girl came to me with an advanced and neglected tumor, and when her father told me that the girl was getting radiation at Assuta, my hair stood on end. Every expert in oncology, actually every specialist in oncology or orthopedics, knows that the standard treatment all over the world for such a case is chemotherapy, followed by limb-preserving surgery, and then another round of chemotherapy…”
In January 2005, Farah [Harma], then 10 years old, was diagnosed with bone cancer. The tumor was discovered in her right knee after a biopsy at
Prof. Natalio Walach, an oncologist who heads the chemotherapy unit at Assaf Harofeh Hospital and also served as director of radiotherapy at Assuta, sent Farah for radiation treatment without examining any medical information and without conducting any further examination to determine the exact type of the girl's cancer…during the brief meeting with the doctor, Farah and her escort were not asked a single question and did not receive any explanation about the method of treatment. There was no physical examination. This week, Walach said: "I don't remember the case that well."
[Michael] Sfard, the attorney for Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights, says…"… It seems that at Assuta there's a separate medical channel for Palestinians, and they are given inferior care. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Someone's making money from this. And we're talking about cancer-stricken children here."
"As far as is known," says Sfard, "the standard method of radiation treatment is with a linear accelerator. As a matter of fact,
…Assuta's medical director, Dr. Orna Ophir…admitted that the Cobalt 60 machine did not meet the accepted standard in
Ophir further confirmed that ‘Assuta had found a way to make money from a service it couldn't sell to Israelis’, concluding, "Farah's parents had given up on her before they came to us. They have fourth-rate doctors, and they want me to give them first-rate treatment."
Azam Abu-Qabatya, from Yata near
…even though the referral from Al-Husseini Hospital proposed three further tests to diagnose the exact form of cancer, Walach did not perform any further examinations…As in the case of Farah Harma, he looked at her leg and drew with a marker to designate the area meant to receive radiation.
…Further examination found that the cancer had spread into the girl's abdominal cavity and lungs...Hayah Abu-Qabatya died at home in the
[Hat tip to Mark Marshall and Dorothy Naor.]