The number of Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip denied exit permits by Israeli authorities on the basis of family ties to Hamas “has soared this year”, reported AFP.
According to data obtained by four human rights NGOs – Gisha, Adalah, Al Mezan and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel – in the first quarter of 2018 alone, 833 exit permit applications by residents of Gaza were denied by Israel on such grounds.
In Jan-March 2018, Israel denied 833 permits to Gaza residents bc their “first-degree relative is a Hamas operative" (up from 21 in all 2017). Some were seeking cancer treatment. This is textbook illegal collective punishment, a hallmark of Israeli policy https://t.co/bpzaDa4HuX pic.twitter.com/Pv02Ft8u01
— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) August 1, 2018
For comparison, Israeli authorities refused 21 applications on these grounds in all of 2017.
As AFP reported,
“Those declined for having a close relative with alleged ties to Hamas have included people seeking medical care for cancer.”
Israeli authorities have cancelled all family visits for Palestinian prisoners from Gaza held in Israeli jails indefinitely. The move comes as the latest measure to sanction the Strip, following a ban on commercial trade and limits in exit permits. https://t.co/3x4HYJXFcU
— Mondoweiss (@Mondoweiss) July 31, 2018
The NGOs slammed the Israeli government for “using patients in need of medical treatment, including cancer patients, as pawns for political gain.”
“When reviewing permit applications submitted by patients from Gaza, Israel’s chief consideration should be their medical needs, rather exploiting their hardships as leverage for mounting pressure on the de-facto authorities in Gaza.”
FOI request reveals that in the first quarter of this year, Israeli authorities denied 833 Gaza exit permits on the grounds that the applicants were “first-degree relative is a Hamas operative.” – @AdalahEnglish @AlMezanCenter @Gisha_Access @PHRIsrael pic.twitter.com/2miXrdAQPD
— Rohan Talbot (@rohantalbot) August 2, 2018
Denying patients access to medical treatment on the grounds that they have family relations to Hamas members is a breach of international law, and completely immoral.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)