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Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege (Part II)

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Medical Care in Gaza (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman

On March 25, 2008, Time magazine writer Tim McGirk headlined "Israelis Blocking Medical Care in Gaza," saying:

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"Since Gaza is denied (most everything under siege), many complicated surgeries are no longer done there." Those permitted abroad for them, like Bassam al-Wahedi, endure a gauntlet through Israel's "security maze."

Entering Egypt through Erez Crossing, "(h)e fumbled along tunnels, steel doors that opened and slammed as he passed along, entered a strange cylinder that fired a whoosh of air at him before he finally reached a large hall with an Israeli soldier sitting inside a bulletproof glass booth."

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He showed his permit for scheduled surgery that afternoon. "(T)hree plainclothed Israelis with pistols and walkie-talkies led him past cages with growling dogs to a room where he was strip searched and interrogated by a man who identified himself as a" Shin Bet captain.

He pressured al-Wahedi to spy for Israel, saying his permit would be cancelled if he refused. "He wanted me to go back to Gaza and collaborate for two weeks," al-Wahedi explained, "and if they liked what I did, I could come to Israel and have my eye operation with the best doctor in Tel Aviv."

Angry and frustrated, he refused. "Contacted by Time, Shin Bet denied approaching (him) to collaborate, (saying he was sent back) because of his involvement in 'activities dangerous to the state.' " 

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Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR - I) believes everyone "has the right to health in its widest possible sense, as defined by the principles of human rights, social justice and medical ethics."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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