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IDF Says World Health Org's Gaza Claims Lies

The W.H.O. accused Israel Tuesday of causing the death of Gazans by denying them treatment in its hospitals. The IDF said its claims were false.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 4/2/2008, 7:44 AM

The World Health Organization accused Israel Tuesday of causing the death of Gaza Arabs by not treating them in hospitals. The IDF blasted the group and showed its claims to be false.

IDF officials explained Tuesday evening that a report from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) accusing Israel of failing to assist dying patients in Gaza was “completely wrong.”  In fact, they said, 90 percent of Gaza patients who request treatment in Israeli hospitals have their requests approved, despite the security risks entailed and past attempts by Gazan patients to bomb the hospitals in which they were receiving treatment. 

Even the 10 percent who are denied for security reasons are allowed to seek treatment in Egypt or Jordan, the IDF said.

The W.H.O. accused Israel on Tuesday of causing the deaths of PA Arabs from Gaza due to lengthy security checks. The group cited 32 such cases since last October, of which 6 were waiting for permits to enter pre-1967 Israel and the remainder were either denied permits altogether due to terrorist ties or waiting for security coordination to make the crossover through the security barrier.

Israel countered with a blunt reminder that PA Arab patients have, in the past, been granted permits to enter Israeli hospitals, only to be found attempting to carry out terrorist attacks therein. One such case took place at the doors of Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva several years ago on what was supposed to have been a return visit for a female patient. Alert security guards stopped the would-be attacker before she could carry out her plans.

"They use humanitarian needs to attack us. We have to check every request," said IDF Col. Nir Press, head of the security coordination for Gaza. He noted that two middle-aged mothers who had applied for permits for health treatment were found to would-be suicide bombers, according to Associated Press.

Col. Press discussed five specific case studies that were presented by W.H.O. as “proof” that Israeli policies caused the death of Gaza Arabs.  In fact, he said, all five patients had been approved for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.  Two of the patients received treatment in Israeli hospitals, while three never used their permits.  The patients had died of their illnesses, not because of Israel, he concluded.

More Humanitarian Aid Sent to Gaza
Arab residents of Gaza - including Hamas and other terrorists - received on Tuesday more than a hundred trucks filled with foodstuffs and other humanitarian supplies delivered through various crossings.

The deliveries of approximately 138 truckloads of humanitarian aid and supplies were organized in cooperation with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories through the following crossings:

Karni Crossing:  51 trucks of wheat, sesame, corn, soy, coffee
Sufa Crossing:  56 trucks of sugar, flour, rice, pasta, dairy products, fish, meat, fruit, carrots, garlic, school books and cleaning products
Kerem Shalom Crossing: 18 trucks of sugar, rice, oil, coffee, meat, meat, animal vitamins and soap. In addition, 13 trucks bearing rice and sugar donated by Egypt entered Gaza through the crossing as well.

Hana Levi Julian contributed to this report