PHR-Israel: Delayed Exit of a Toddler from Gaza Results in Death

By Jesse Bacon
Saturday, a child the same age as my daughter was killed in Gaza. She was not killed
by a missile, or a suicide bomber, or any of the other dramatic ways children die in the
Middle East. She was killed by an Israeli  policy, that the people of Gaza are to be
imprisoned as punishment for who the adults voted for. While many children have been
killed by this policy, this case sounds particularly horrific. Her family and Physicians
for Human Rights tried valiantly to get her admitted into Israel for treatment, to no avail.
I can imagine no worse nightmare for a parent, to watch your child dying knowing there
is medical care a few miles away that you are not allowed to seek out. The next time someone
tells you things aren’t so bad in Gaza any more, or that Israel is not responsible for what
goes on there, remember this story. There can be no justification for allowing a sick child
to die when you have the means to prevent it.
PHR-Israel has the story,

Nasma Abu Lasheen died on Saturday, October 16, 2010 in Gaza. Israel failed to
issue her an urgent entry permit for life-saving medical treatment at Ha-Emek
Medical Center in Afula, Israel. She was two years old.
Abu Lasheen, a young resident of Gaza diagnosed with Leukemia, was referred
for emergency treatment in Israel on October 6, 2010. When requests to the
Israeli Army for an entry permit went unanswered for several days, by way
of B’tselem, the family contacted Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-Israel)
for additional help. That very same day, on October 13, 2010, PHR-Israel contacted
the Gaza District Coordination Office (DCO) demanding a permit be issued
immediately to the baby and her father to enable their entry into Israel.
A military approval was finally granted the next afternoon, October 14, 2010.
Abu Lasheen’s medical condition had been deteriorating rapidly and by the
time the permit was received, the treating doctor in Gaza,
Dr. Mohammad Abu Sha’aban, said she was too sick to travel. Nasma died
in the early morning hours of October 16, 2010.
PHR-Israel immediately lodged a complaint with the head of the Israeli
DCO, demanding an immediate inquiry into those responsible for the
delayed response.
Abu Lasheen’s death comes just days PHR-Israel testified to the Israeli
Turkel Commission which investigates the Flotilla incident, on the
humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s closure policy.
In their October 13th testimony, PHR- Israel pointed to the rising numbers
of Gaza patients denied exit for treatment in hospitals outside the Strip,
a phenomenon that has intensified since Israel’s tightened closure took effect
June 2007. PHR-Israel emphasized that for the patients, a delayed or non-approved
permit could mean the difference between quality of life and preventable
pain and suffering, and in many cases, even the difference between life and
death, as demonstrated by the Abu Lasheem case. 
PHR- Israel calls on the Israeli authorities at Erez Crossing to investigate
those responsible for delays involved in Nasma Abu Lasheen’s case. PHR- Israel
reiterates its demand that Israel fulfill its obligations vis-à-vis the residents
of Gaza by ensuring them full and timely access to medical treatment unavailable
in the Gaza Stip.
For more information, please contact Ran Yaron, Director of PHR-Israel’s Occupied Territories Department by telephone: +972-54-7577696 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +972-54-7577696      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or via E-mail [email protected]


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PHR-Israel: Delayed Exit of a Toddler from Gaza Results in Death

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