Sunday, December 14, 2008

Catastrophe for Gaza

Dr. Eyad Al-Sarraj writing in the Los Angeles Times:
Reporting from Gaza — From my home in the Gaza Strip, I followed the American election season with interest. Many times I heard the personal stories of Americans without access to healthcare and the toll illness has taken on their lives. I can relate. For months, I waited in Gaza, unable to leave (despite the fact that I carry a British passport) and increasingly desperate to secure a medical appointment about 45 minutes away in Israel.

The advanced medical treatment I need is not available here. But although it is readily available just up the coast in nearby Tel Aviv, I was not allowed to visit my doctor there without permission from the Israelis, who still control our borders and, as the occupying power, remain responsible for the welfare of our civilian population.

In the end, I waited three months for a medical permit to travel to treat my multiple myeloma. My requests were denied repeatedly until an Israeli friend who teaches at Tel Aviv University intervened and helped me secure a one-day permit. That there are still Israelis willing to promote the rights of Palestinians provides me with what little hope I have these days. The majority of Palestinians want only to live with peace and equality, accepting Israelis as our neighbors but not as our superiors or as our jailers.
Read the entire article here >