Akram Ahmad Al-Sultan

October 17, 2022: Akram Ahmad Mohammad Al-Sultan, 62, died after the Israeli authorities denied travel for treatment at Al-Muttala’ (Augusta Victoria) Hospital in occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Hazem Akram Al-Sultan, 38, said that his father had sustained a fracture in the eleventh thoracic vertebra (T11) in June 2022.

After conducting many examinations, it turned out that he had leukemia, and the doctors decided to refer him to Al-Muttala’ (Augusta Victoria) Hospital in occupied Jerusalem due to his bad health condition and urgent need for radiotherapy that is not available at the Gaza Strip’s hospitals.

On 18 July 2022, the patient applied for a permit to the Israeli authorities to travel for treatment at Al-Muttala’ Hospital, but on 08 August 2022, the Israeli authorities responded that his request was still “under study”.

The patient had to obtain a new appointment on 13 August 2022, and applied for another permit, but the Israeli authorities put his request under study again. The patient repeated the same procedures to obtain a new appointment on 30 September 2022.

On 06 October 2022, he received a text message to go to Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing for an interview with the Israeli intelligence, so in the same morning he went there.  After waiting for 3 hours, he was asked to return to the Gaza Strip without conducting the interview.

On 17 October 2022, his health condition got worse, and he was referred to the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza Strip, where he was pronounced dead.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, so far this year, the Israeli authorities have obstructed the travel of 5,472 patients with serious diseases that lack treatment at the Strip’s hospitals.

These restrictions coincide with the deterioration of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli-imposed closure on the Strip for the last 16 years, causing a perpetual shortage of essential drugs and medical devices and insufficient number of specialized health personnel.

PCHR condemns the obstruction of Gaza Strip Patients’ travel for treatment abroad, and calls on the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to exert pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to assume their legal responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip population, including patients, and to ensure that adequate and safe mechanism is provided for their travel to receive treatment abroad.

PCHR urges the international community to pressure Israel to lift the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip in line with Security Council Resolution No. 1860 that calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza, including of food, fuel, and medical treatment, meaning allowing the entry of medical supplies used in radiotherapy, chemical drugs and periodic examinations for cancer patients that are not available in Gaza hospitals.

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights – PCHR, said Akram is eight Palestinian patient from Gaza, including three children, to die due to Israeli restrictions since the beginning of this year.

Akram was from the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Source: The Palestinian Center For Human Rights – PCHR

 

Tayseer Daoud Yousuf Al-Sayegh

September 20, 2022: Tayseer Daoud Yousuf Al-Sayegh, 67, died after the Israeli authorities denied his travel for treatment at Al-Muttala Hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

Mikhail Yousuf Nicola Al-Nasrawi, 28, the patient’s companion, said that in a medical examination for Dr. al-Sayegh at al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City late in July 2022, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor spread in his lung and liver and confirmed the urgent need for an urgent treatment protocol that is not available in the Gaza Strip Hospitals and only available in Al-Muttala’ Hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

Al-Sayegh received a referral for medical referral and a hospital appointment on 05 September 2022.

He then applied for a permit to the Israeli authorities to travel via Beit Hanoun ‘Erez’ crossing and receive treatment at the Hospital on the date appointed for his treatment, yet the latter delayed responding to his travel permit and the appointment date expired.

As a result, he had to obtain a new appointment on October 22, 2022, and applied again for the permit to allow him to travel.

The patient headed to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) to help him obtaining a permit, but his health condition deteriorated, and he died at dawn on Tuesday before his permit was issued.

PCHR, in its capacity as the legal representative, intervened and sent an urgent request to the Israeli legal advisor at Bein Hanoun “Erez” crossing to allow the patient to travel on September 5, 2022, but received a response that the permit was denied.

PCHR then submitted a challenge to the Israeli Prosecution on September 15, to all the patient to travel due to his serious condition, but the patient died before receiving a response to the challenge.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, since the beginning of so far this year, the Israeli authorities have obstructed the travel of 5,001 patients with serious diseases that lack treatment at the Strip’s hospitals.[1]

These restrictions coincide with the deterioration of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip for the last 16 years, causing a perpetual shortage of essential drugs and medical devices and insufficient number of specialized health personnel.

PCHR condemned the obstruction of Gaza Strip Patients’ travel for treatment abroad, and calls on the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to exert pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to assume their legal responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip population, including patients, and to ensure that adequate and safe mechanism is provided for their travel.

It called on the international community to pressure Israel to lift the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip in line with Security Council Resolution No. 1860 that calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza, including of food, fuel, and medical treatment which means allowing the entry of medical supplies used in radiotherapy, chemical drugs and periodic examinations for cancer patients that are not available in Gaza hospitals.

Since the beginning of this year, the number of patients denied travel for treatment abroad has risen to 6, including 3 children.

Dr. Taiseer was from Gaza. Source: The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR)

[1] Date obtained by PCHR’s fieldworkers from the Coordination and Liaison Department at the Ministry of Health

Mousa Haroun Abu Mahameed

September 03, 2022: Mousa Haroun Abu Mahameed, 40, a Palestinian political prisoner held by Israel, died at the Assaf Harofeh Israeli medical center.

Two days before his death, his family from Beit Ta’mar village, east of Bethlehem, held Israel responsible for the sharp and sudden health deterioration which eventually led to his death.

His father, Haron, said he was surprised to be informed by the International Committee of the Red Cross that his son, who was healthy when he was taken prisoner, was not in prison when he tried to apply for a permit to visit with him, an issue that was of great concern to the family before it contacted human rights groups.

Haron added that he was later informed that his son was admitted to the Assaf Harofeh Israeli medical center.

Mousa had a psychological condition and received treatment prior to being abducted, but was otherwise healthy, not suffering from any health condition or diseases.

When the father was finally able to head to the hospital on Wednesday, August 21, 2022, the doctors told him that his son was in a critical condition and that he was admitted on August 7, but neither the family nor the Red Cross or any other group were informed.

The Israeli soldiers abducted Mousa in June of 2021 while crossing a military roadblock heading to his work in Jerusalem.

The army said Mousa was taken prisoner because he had no permit to enter or work in occupied Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) held Israel responsible for Abu Mahameed’s death, adding that Israel has escalated its violations against the Palestinian workers since the beginning of this year, not only by assaulting and abducting them, but also by opening fire at them at crossing points and military roadblocks.

Israeli soldiers abducted more than 2140 Palestinians since the beginning of this year, 2022, including more than 450 Palestinians, among them many children, who were abducted on April 15 in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Also, there are more than 600 ailing Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, among them 200 with chronic conditions and 22 who have cancer and tumors, including Nasser Abu Hmeid, who is in a serious condition due to lung cancer.

It is worth mentioning that Israel still holds the corpses of 357 Palestinians, including 106 who were killed after 2015, and continues to refuse them to their families and 256 buried in the so-called “Numbers Graveyards.”

Mousa was from Beit Ta’mar village, east of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Source: IMEMC

Farouq Mohammad Abu Naja

August 28, 2022: Farouq Mohammad Abu Naja, 6, died after Israeli denied his travel for medical treatment at the Hadassah Ein Karem Israeli Medical Center in Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the Israeli continuous obstacles to the travel of Gaza Strip’s patients, denying them access to the Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and Israeli hospitals for receiving or resuming their medical treatment.

The PCHR added that these obstacles have aggravated the suffering of thousands of patients and resulted in the death of 4 patients; the last one was Farouq whose travel permit for treatment at Hadassah hospital in the occupied Jerusalem, was denied.

Suleiman Ahmad Abu Naja, 56, the deceased child’s grandfather, from Yabna refugee camp in Rafah, said that his grandson was denied travel for treatment at Hadassah- ‘Ein Karem Hospital as he suffers from cerebral atrophy.

Abu Naja added that his grandson received a medical referral for treatment on 12 January 2022 at Hadassah ‘Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem; the referral is funded by the Christian Aid Ministries.

He applied to have a travel permit from the Israeli occupation authorities; however, the latter replied that his request is still under study.  Thus, the child could not travel for treatment on the given appointment.

Abu Naja said that they obtained another appointment on 10 August 2022 and then re-applied for the travel permit, but the Israeli authorities kept replying that the request is “under study”. While waiting for the Israeli approval, the child’s health deteriorated until he died at the European Gaza Hospital on Wednesday evening, 24 August 2022.

According to the Health Department of the General Authority for Civil Affairs (GACA) statistics, since the beginning of this year, the Israeli authorities have obstructed the travel of 4,169 patients from the Gaza strip for treatment abroad since.  Most of these patients suffer serious diseases that lack treatment at the Strip’s hospitals.

The Israeli occupation army invokes various reasons and excuses to prevent Gaza patients from traveling for treatment; including requests under study, summoning patients for a security interview, requests denied for having a relative illegally residing in the West Bank or Israel, and the treatment available in Gaza hospitals.

These restrictions come with the deterioration of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip triggered by the Israeli-imposed closure for 16 years, as the Gaza Strip hospitals suffer from acute shortage of essential drugs and medical devices and insufficient number of specialized health professionals; rendering the hospitals unable to treat many serious diseases and so raising the number of patients referred for treatment abroad during the past years.

In light of the above, PCHR calls on the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, and the UN bodies and international organizations to exert pressure on the occupation to assume their legal responsibilities towards the residents of the Gaza Strip, including patients, and to ensure an appropriate and safe mechanism is provided for their travel.

PCHR calls on the international community to pressure Israel to lift the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip in line with Security Council Resolution No. 1860, and to import the medical supplies used in radiotherapy, chemical drugs and periodic examinations for cancer patients that are not available in Gaza hospitals.

Farouq was from Yabna refugee camp in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Source: The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR):

Natan Fitoussi

August 15, 2022: Natan Fitoussi, 20, was shot and killed by a fellow Israeli soldier — not by Palestinian fighters, as Israel had originally claimed.

The deceased soldier was identified as Sergeant Natan Fitoussi, 20. He was posthumously promoted from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant. Fitoussi immigrated to Israeli from France in 2014.

According to Israeli sources, Fitoussi was stationed at a guard post on the Israeli side of the Annexation Wall near Tulkarem on August 15th.

He left the guard post for a short time, and when he returned, the other soldier stationed at the post shot at him and killed him. Fitoussi lived in Netanya, since 2014.

Initially, the Israeli army reported the incident as a shooting attack by Palestinians. Israeli troops then began searching the nearby Palestinian villages for the alleged gunman.

But after that initial report, and following an investigation, Israeli military officials clarified that the incident was not a shooting attack by Palestinians.

Such incidents of so-called ‘friendly fire’ are common among Israeli soldiers, especially during ground invasions when soldiers get excited and confused and begin firing at one another.

Earlier this year, two Israeli military officers from an elite commando unit were shot by ‘friendly fire’ at a military base in the Jordan Valley.

The military criticized the Israeli media for reporting on the incident before confirming the details, and before the military had a chance to notify the soldier’s family of his death.

Natan was from Netanya, in central Israel. Source: IMEMC

Ihab al-Kilani

May 17, 2022: Ihab al-Kilani, 40, died due to complications from Israeli medical negligence while he was imprisoned by Israel.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society reported that Ihab al-Kilani, a resident of Nablus city, died a month after being released from Israeli imprisonment.

It pointed that al-Kilani was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after ending his 6-month administrative detention term, during which he was subjected to deliberate medical negligence.

The last time al-Kilani, a father of four – the youngest of whom is a three-year old girl, was arrested was in October 2021, and he spent four years and a half in Israeli imprisonment, mostly placed under administrative detention.

PPS presented statistics showing that 22 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody are suffering from different degrees of cancer, most notably Nasser Abu Hamid, a 49-year-old resident of Al-Amari camp who has been detained since 2002 and is serving seven life sentences and an additional 50 years in prison.

PPS added that 600 prisoners are sick, including 200 who suffer from chronic diseases while holding the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for al-Kilani’s death and its repercussions.

Israel’s widely condemned practice of administrative detention allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

The US State Department has said in past reports on human rights conditions for Palestinians that administrative detainees are not given the “opportunity to refute allegations or address the evidentiary material presented against them in court.”

Amnesty International has described Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and has long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

According to the latest figures from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support, and Human Rights Association, there are currently 4,450 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

This number includes approximately 530 Palestinians placed under “administrative detention”, which allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

Mass arrest of Palestinians is nothing new. According to a 2017 report by Addameer, over the past 50 years, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel, this figure is now believed to be closer to 1 million. This means that about 40% of Palestinian men and boys living under military occupation have been deprived of their freedom. Almost every Palestinian family has suffered the imprisonment of a loved one.

Ihab was from Nablus, in the northern West Bank. Source: IMEMC

Fatma Jalal al-Masri

March 25, 2022: Fatma Jalal al-Masri, 19 months, died at the Gaza European Hospital after she was denied access to a hospital outside Gaza by Israeli authorities at the Erez crossing.

The Al-Mezan Center For Uman Rights said Fatma was subjected to Israel’s arbitrary and discriminatory permit system, which delays access to hospitals outside the Strip and denies care in around 30 percent of urgent cases. The continued movement restrictions by Israeli authorities on Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip systematically violate inhabitants’ right to health by aggravating health conditions and placing numerous barriers to health access.

According to Al Mezan, Fatma’s legal representative, she was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect in 2021. Despite having obtained a medical referral from the Palestinian Ministry of Health and confirming three hospital appointments at Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem, Israeli authorities denied Fatma the requisite exit permit to travel to Jerusalem for the appointments, the last of which was on 5 March 2022.

The young patient’s health deteriorated over the course of several months of denied care and she died three weeks after her last missed appointment.

Al Mezan deeply regrets Fatma’s death and strongly condemns Israel’s ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip and its associated restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, which includes denying patients access to the hospitals in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, and abroad.

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that since 2011, 71 Palestinians—including twenty-five women and nine children—have died following Israel’s denial of requests for exit permits and delays. Notably, Israel’s targeted, discriminatory permit system is one of the practices and policies at the core of its apartheid regime against the Palestinian people as a whole.

This case is yet another example of Israel’s continuing violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and its obligations as an occupying power, notably to respect and ensure freedom of movement in occupied territory and to guarantee the right to health of the occupied population.

These obligations bear greater weight when involving children and as provided in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Israel has an obligation to ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child. Delaying access to necessary medical care for a toddler for more than five months is unwarranted and grave.

Al Mezan emphasizes that Israel is fully responsible for Fatma’s death as the occupying power and relevant duty bearer in these circumstances. The State’s persistent breaches of its international law obligations require the intervention of the international community and accountability of perpetrators.

Al Mezan called on the international community—in particular, the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions—to uphold their moral and legal obligations vis-à-vis the protected Palestinian people and to ensure Israel complies with its obligations under international law, ends the closure and blockade on the Gaza Strip, and stops its ongoing restrictions of Palestinian patients’ access to medical care outside the Gaza Strip.

Fatima was from Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Source: Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights

Dia’ Kamal Dahdouh

December 2, 2021: Dia’ Kamal Dahdouh, 26, died from serious wounds he suffered, a year earlier, in an explosion near his home in Gaza city.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, said Dia’ was one of its members, and added that he suffered serious wounds, a year ago, in an “accidental explosion” in Tal Al-Hawa.

Many Palestinian fighters have been killed in accidental explosions, or during training, in addition to the hundreds who were assassinated or killed by Israeli soldiers during the frequent invasions and bombings in the Gaza Strip.

Some have also been killed or seriously injured while dismantling explosives dropped by Israeli soldiers, in addition to unexploded ordnances that were fired by the Israeli army, or while manufacturing homemade shells.

It is worth mentioning that, on June 10, 2021, a Palestinian child, identified as Obeida Dahdouh, only nine years of age, was killed when an undetonated Israeli explosive that was dropped during the recent Israeli offensive on Gaza, exploded near him.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the Israeli explosive went off near the child, causing serious wounds before the medics rushed him to the Shifa Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds. His brother was also injured in the explosion.

During the eleven days of the Israeli offensive on Gaza in May of this year, the death toll reached 247, including sixty-six children and thirty-nine women, while 1416 Palestinians, including 277 women and 412 children have been wounded, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has confirmed.

Dia’ was from Tal-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza city. Source: IMEMC

Sami al-‘Amour

November 18, 2021: Sami al-‘Amour, 39, died at an Israeli medical center after years of medical neglect despite having congenital heart disease, and his need for constant follow-up.

In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has confirmed the detainee’s death and stated that Sami was taken prisoner by the Israeli army in the year 2008 and was sentenced to nineteen years in prison.

Sami was transferred to an Israeli hospital on Wednesday at night, where he was officially pronounced dead by the physicians.

His fiancé, who remained engaged to him for fourteen years since his abduction, said that the family received the news about his death from media outlets.

It is worth mentioning that only his mother was able to visit with him just a few times since his abduction due to Israeli restrictions.

His sister said that the last time the family was able to talk to him over the phone was before he was sent to the Israeli hospital when he informed them that he was being transferred cuffed and sitting in a wheelchair.

The PPS said the detainee was born with congenital heart disease and has been receiving specialized treatment for his condition until he was abducted and imprisoned by Israel.

The PPS held Israel accountable for his death especially since he should have been monitored and examined by heart specialists.

It also said that al-Amour was transferred, a few days ago, from Nafha prison to Asqalan, and was just recently moved to Soroka Israeli medical center where he underwent two surgeries, including one that was performed just a day before his death.

Al-‘Amour was from Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. Source: IMEMC

Hussein Masalma

September 22, 2021: Hussein Masalma, 39, died from Leukemia that went untreated when he was imprisoned by Israel for 19 years. He was only was recently released after his condition seriously deteriorated, and died at a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, in central West Bank.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said Masalma,  from the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, was released from an Israeli prison in February of this year when his condition became extremely serious after he was denied the right to receive the urgently-needed specialized medical treatment for his Leukemia.

The PPS added that the detainee was first moved to Hadassah Israeli medical center, before being sent, a week ago, to the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah.

The PPS held Israel fully responsible for his death, especially since he was subject to medical neglect while in prison, and only started receiving treatment when his condition became life-threatening.

Masalma started suffering from complications and sharp pain in late 2020, and it took Israel more than a month to send him to the clinic of the Negev Desert detention camp and was only moved to an Israeli hospital when his condition became very serious, where he was diagnosed with End-Stage Leukemia.

The Palestinian was taken prisoner by the Israel army in the year 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He spent 19 years in prison before he was released due to his serious medical condition.

His release came after various appeals, deliberations, and delays by Israeli courts before his lawyer filed an appeal with the Israeli High Court.

In an interview with the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in February of this year, Masalma stated that he has been suffering for two years and that the Israeli physicians didn’t render an accurate diagnosis to his condition.

“For more than two years I have been suffering, and they couldn’t diagnose my condition currently,” he said, “It is not just me, there are so many detainees suffering from serious conditions.”

The PPS said that many Palestinian political prisoners, especially those who have been held captive by Israel for more than 20 years are facing serious health conditions, including cancer.

It called on various regional and international human rights and legal groups, including the World Health Organization, to act on ensuring the release of all ailing Palestinian detainees from Israel prisons and to send an independent medical committee to look into these cases.

Masalma was from the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in occupied West Bank. Source: IMEMC