Palestinians-GazaPati 04-01

Permit delays affect patients

Dozens of Gaza residents have died waiting for medical treatment because of delays in obtaining permits to enter Israel, combined with a crumbling health system in Gaza, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The U.N. agency listed 32 cases since October in which Gaza residents, ranging from a 1-year-old child to a 77-year-old man, died because they could not obtain urgent medical treatment.

Six were waiting for Israeli authorities to issue a permit to enter, according to the WHO report. It said others were denied permits because they were considered a security risk to Israel — including a 65-year-old woman. A number of other patients had obtained a permit but died while making additional arrangements necessary to cross into Israel, such as getting permission for a Palestinian medical team to accompany them, the report said.

Some weren’t able to leave because Israel lacked the necessary hospital beds while others died while waiting at the Erez crossing, which Gazans use to pass into Israel, it said. Israel frequently shuts down the crossing because Hamas militants fire rockets nearby, aiming for Israeli soldiers and nearby Israeli communities.

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