PHR-IL & HR NGOs on Decision to stop coverage of Palestinians' Medical Care in Israel

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PHR-IL and Human Rights organizations in a joint position paper on the Decision to stop covering Palestinian's medical Care in Israel .

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR - IL), The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) Gisha – Legel Center For Freedom of Movement and B'Tselem Protest Violations of the Rights of Palestinian Patients

Following the decision of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to stop all financial coverage for the medical treatments of Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals, and given the policy of the Government of Israel (GOI) to insist on conditioning access to healthcare for Palestinians in Israel in financial coverage from the Palestinian Authority (PA), PHR-IL, PCHR, Gisha and B'Tselem protest the use of Palestinian patients as political tools by both the PA and the GOI.
In January 2009, after the end of the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the PA cancelled financial coverage for all medical care for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals, including coverage for chronically ill Palestinian patients, and those in need of complex care that is not available in other tertiary medical centers in the region.
The result has been that an estimation of hundreds of Palestinian patients who were in the middle of long-term treatment regimes in Israel , including cancer patients in need of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and bone marrow transplantation, found their treatments interrupted with no alternatives.
We, human rights organizations in Israel and Palestine , regard Israel as an Occupying Power who bears overall responsibility for the protection of the right to health of the Palestinian, including free access to health services in the territories it occupies.
In agreeing to act as provider of healthcare services to the Palestinian population, the PA (Ramallah) took upon itself responsibility for that population. However, the ability of the PA in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to supply appropriate health care services is fundamentally restricted by Israel as an Occupying Power.
The exploitation of the healthcare system in general and of seriously ill patients in particular, for political and financial aims, is a grave violation of the principles of medical ethics and of human rights.

PHR-IL, PCHR, Gisha and B'Tselem call:
The Government of Israel :
To recognize its ultimate responsibility as an Occupying Power for the healthcare of the population under its control, and to ensure that all residents of the OPT have access to appropriate healthcare regardless of financial coverage.

The Palestinian Authority:
To renew its financial coverage for all Palestinian patients who need to complete their medical treatment in Israel , at least until an appropriate and accessible new health care provider can be found. The PA has the right to decide where it will refer its patients; however, the rights of all these patients to continuity of heath care must not be violated.


Re: Peaceful Arab protesters Arrested in San Francisco

It was a 12 year old boy with the rocks. The police harrassed the child. People intervened.
If the San Francisco police don't want to be slapped and bitten, then should keep away from peaceful non-violent protesters.


Lily, Nadeen, Mohammad, and 5 youth were arrested earlier today during the
demonstrations and are calling for broad community support. Police appear
to have targeted youth, Lily and Nadeen tried to unarrest them; they're being charged with resisting arrest, and bail was set at $53,000 each.
*Right now, they're asking for people to be on call for this Monday and Tuesday to show up and support them at the arraignment proceedings. *
They've also asked anyone who can loan a large chunk of money ($500 ) for
bail to contact Vanessa Huang (510-508-9106). The ideal is to raise the
entirety of the bail money so that it will be refunded (partial bail is not).

We believe it's important in the wake of the attacks on Gaza, and our
local responses, to recall that Palestinians and Arabs are generally those who
are the first to be targeted by the police, violent zionists, and the media. Now, more than ever, we need to stand in solidarity with our comrades in strategic defense.

The Coordinating Team

PCHR Gaza Also Warns

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights LTD (non profit)
Press Release

Ref: 41/2009
Date: 23 March 2009
Time: 12:00 GMT

PCHR Warns of Gaza Patients’ Being Denied Treatment Abroad

On the afternoon of 22 March 2009, the Ministry of Health in Gaza took control of the Department of External Medical Treatment. Officials from the Gaza Ministry of Health demanded that the director of the Department relinquish control of all offices in the Gaza Strip. The Director, Dr. Bassam al-Badri, had been appointed by the Government in Ramallah with the approval of the Gaza Government. Overall authority for the Department was placed in the hands of Dr. Basem Na’im, the Gaza Minister of Health. In the aftermath of the takeover – which included the seizure of the Department’s stamps – approximately 30 departmental employees left their offices.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) warns of the potential consequences of this takeover, and the impact it may have on the lives of hundreds of patients who require urgent medical care unavailable in the Gaza Strip.
According to information made available to PCHR, Mr. Fayez al-Shaltouni, director general of the Health Insurance Department in the Gaza Ministry of Health, arrived at the headquarters of the Department of External Medical Treatment at approximately 13:30 on 22 March, accompanied by approximately ten other persons. Mr. al-Shatouni informed Dr. al-Badri that he had been instructed to take control of all the Department’s offices in Gaza , showing him a letter to that effect signed by Dr. Hassan Khalaf, Assistant Undersecretary at the Gaza Ministry of Health. Dr. Al-Badri did not contest the takeover, and asked al-Shaltouni to sign an acknowledgement of receipt of all the contents of the offices.
At the time of the takeover there were dozens of civilian patients waiting in the offices of the Department. They were informed that the Gaza Ministry of Health had taken control of the department in Gaza , and that all applications for medical treatment abroad should be coordinated with the Gaza Ministry. The patients expressed their complaints, and the fear that this development would negatively impact on their applications, risking their lives.
In early January, the Ramallah Ministry of Health ceased referring Palestinian patients to Israeli hospitals. This decision was taken in light of the requirement – imposed by Israeli occupation authorities – that the Palestinian Authority cover all treatment expenses. As a result, hundreds of Palestinian patients, especially cancer patients who are in need of chemotherapy, radiology and bone marrow transplants, found their treatments interrupted without any suitable medical alternatives.
PCHR, Physicians for Human Rights, Gisha and B’Tselem have protested the politicization of medical treatment. The decisions taken by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli authorities use Palestinian patients as tools in the conflict, violating their right to life and the right to access medical treatment. The exploitation of patients, including patients with dangerous diseases, for political or economic aims is a grave violation of human rights and medical ethics.
Following this decision, Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations demanded that Israel recognizes its ultimate responsibility, as an Occupying Power, to ensure that all the civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory have access to appropriate healthcare centers, regardless of the financial cost associated with their treatment.
PCHR is extremely concerned that Palestinian patients may suffer the consequences of the political conflict between Fatah and Hamas, and calls upon:
The Ministry of Health in Gaza Government to cancel its decision to take over the Department of External Medical Treatment. The Ministry is required to let the Director and staff of the Department return to their work immediately, in order to serve the hundreds of patients in need of medical treatment abroad.
The Ramallah Ministry of Health to immediately cancel its decision to stop the financial coverage for the hundreds Palestinian patients who need to complete life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals. Amongst these patients are 57 children who need to complete their long-term treatment in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem . Stopping medical referrals in the context of the ongoing siege of Gaza represents a death sentence. The Government in Ramallah must accept responsibility for this situation.
The authorities of the Israeli military occupation to fulfill their obligations, as an Occupying Power, with respect to the care and protection of the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory as codified in, inter alia, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and the two Additional Protocols of 1977.
The authorities of the Israeli military occupation to fulfill their obligations in accordance with international human rights law, to ensure, inter alia, the right to life and the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza , Gaza Strip, on 972 8 2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail:, Webpage

I'm not Jewish

how will there be palestinians without a palestine?

There were Jews without an Israel. For over 3500 years. There are Tibetans without a Tibet.

The reality is -there NEVER was a Palestine, and until recently, there never were Palestinians.

Re: Re: Re: Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine respond

i am jewish and... so there is:
land is being taken away violently, at this point palestinians barely hold their own cities free of israeli soldiers... hundreds of families' homes are demolished every year, unless it's a year like this one (or the last) where mass military operations by israel bomb refugee camps from beirut to rafah... every family is hurt most that succeed to leave will probably not return, unless things change, if this is not ethnic cleansing i don't know what is. how will there be palestinians without a palestine?

Re: Re: Palestinian Children And The Facts

Sabra, maybe?
Date palm?
Bethleheim iris?

"Plant"=all Zionist posters

"Plant"=all Zionist posters