Tuesday, April 1, 2008

World Health Organization: Gazans Die Avoidable Deaths

The World Health Organization held a press conference on the denial of travel permits to Palestinians with critical health conditions. AFP covered the press conference:

The World Health Organization lashed out at Israel on Tuesday for denying or delaying travel permits for critically ill Gaza Strip residents, saying the right to health appeared to be optional for Palestinians.

Ambrogio Manenti, who heads the WHO's West Bank and Gaza office, said case studies of patients who died while waiting for permits to travel to Israel for treatment "show nonsense, inhumanity and, at the end, tragedy".

"The right to health appears to be optional for Palestinians," he added.

The UN agency cited the case of Amir al-Yazji, nine, who died of meningeal encephalitis at a hospital in Gaza in November after his family faced one hurdle after another to get a travel permit only to have authorities deny the documents to the ambulance team at the last minute.

Read the full story here >