Palestinian cancer patient dies while waiting for Israeli entry permit
Father of six dies of brain tumor at Gaza hospital after his request to undergo surgery in Israel denied for security reasons. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel says it is 'very concerned' for the fate of 12 other Palestinian cancer patients
A Palestinian father of six who was diagnosed with a brain cancer died at Gaza's Shifa Hospital on Wednesday while waiting for an entry permit to Israel, where he was set to undergo brain surgery and receive chemotherapy treatment at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
Three weeks ago, at the request of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel), Dr Elsalam Abria of Haifa's Rambam Hospital wrote an opinion saying that Muhammad el-Harani would die within a few days or weeks unless he receives proper treatment in Israel.
Ran Yaron, co-director of PHR-Israel's Occupied Territories Project, said that after el-Harani was diagnosed with cancer last February he was referred to Ichilov Hospital to undergo brain surgery and chemotherapy treatment, which are not conducted in any medical center in Gaza.
El-Harani's request was rejected for security reasons, prompting PHR-Israel to file an urgent appeal on his behalf to the IDF's District Coordination Office. El-Harani's hearing, which was scheduled to take place at the Erez Crossing at the beginning of the week, was postponed by the army.
"The Shin Bet is continuing its harmful policy against cancer patients," Yaron said, "we are very concerned for the fate of 12 others who have requested entry to Israel for treatment."
Only one Gazan cancer patient received clearance to enter Israel for treatment since Ynet published its report on the affair about a week ago. Eight other patients have been denied entry.
In March five cancer patients died in Gaza while waiting for entry permits to Israel.