Clinic at Erez crossing
Photo: Michel Dor
Jordanians enter armed
Photo: Roy Idan
Aid from Jordan
Photo: AFP

Israel to close clinic at Erez crossing

Administrators say clinic set up just 10 days ago to treat wounded Palestinians to be shut down Wednesday due to small number of patients, apparently due to direct order from Hamas. Rights group: Israel opened the clinic for propaganda purposes

The Health Ministry and Magen David Adom have decided to close the emergency clinic at the Erez crossing, which was set up to treat Palestinians who were injured during the IDF's three-week offensive in Gaza, Ynet learned Monday night.


The clinic, which opened its doors just 10 days ago, is expected to be shut down this week due to the low number of Palestinian patients, which was the result of a direct order by Hamas not to transfer the wounded to Israel.


Israel initially set up the clinic due to the collapse of Gaza's health system, but Hamas instructed civilians not to seek treatment there.


Meanwhile, Jordan on Monday began building a field hospital in Gaza to replace the Israeli clinic. The Jordanians entered the Strip with weapons for personal security.


"There are hundreds of Palestinians who want to come, but only a few actually arrived, and none of them were injured during the war in Gaza," a source who was involved in the clinic's activity told Ynet Monday night, adding that "there are no security checks by the Shin Bet at the clinic, so even Hamas members can receive treatment."


According to the source, the clinic's staff did resuscitate one Palestinian and also treated seven children who suffer from cancer. The children were later transferred to hospitals in Israel.


'Less than 5 patients treated'

Health Ministry official Yair Amikam told Ynet "despite our best intentions and the willingness of seven or eight physicians to leave their regular work places each day to help out at the clinic, less than five patients have been treated since the beginning of last week.


"To the best of our knowledge, this is the result of an order given by Hamas. This is why we've reached the conclusion that it just isn’t worth the effort," he said. "The Jordanian field hospital in Gaza appears to be up and running, so we will close the clinic at Erez probably as soon as Wednesday.


Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said the clinic was the wrong solution to begin with. "Israel opened the clinic for propaganda purposes. The injured must be allowed to leave Gaza and receive treatment at Israeli hospitals," the group said.


Roni Sofer and Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 01.27.09, 00:47
 new comment
This will delete your current comment