Israel Coerces Gaza Patients to Spy

A human rights group has blamed Israel for violating the rights of Palestinian patients leaving Gaza for medical treatment by intensifying interrogations against them.

Data collected by al-Meezan Center for Human Rights and its international affiliates indicate a rise in the number of Palestinian patients interrogated and forced to provide information in return for a permission to leave the Gaza Strip for medical treatment, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday.

The center’s Sameer Siqqout said that patients have refused to talk to the press for fear of reprisals by Israeli authorities. Many patients and their companions have been arrested after being interviewed by Israeli intelligence agencies, he said.

One patient said that he has cancer and was leaving with his son when he was stopped by Israeli agents who asserted that he could cross the border only if he would spy for them.

A crippling Israeli siege has led to acute shortage of necessary equipment and medicine in the impoverished Gaza hospitals that are faced with a relatively high number of seriously ill patients.

The situation is especially dangerous for chronically ill patients that have to be on medication for extended periods and those requiring emergency operations.

Hundreds of patients in the blockaded Gaza Strip risk an imminent death unless they are provided with badly needed medications.

According to Israeli rights group Betselem, the Tel Aviv regime denies the rights of Gaza residents to seek medical care inside Gaza and to access treatment outside the territory.

Many patients have said that the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) have interrogated and photographed them against their will. Experts say that the Israeli regime also blackmails Gaza patients due to its obsession with security.

Israeli Physicians for Human Rights Organization also blames the ISA for exploiting Gaza patients in exchange for an exit permit.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has expressed alarm that the current shortage of medicine caused by the persisting Israeli blockade has resulted in a serious health crisis for Palestinian patients.

The ministry said that it has voiced concern and has called upon the international community to stand by the patients in the Gaza Strip.

(Press TV)

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