Thursday Aug 11, 2022
Thursday Aug 11, 2022

In Gaza, an application languishes, and a toddler dies


Nepalnews
AP
2022 Apr 14, 13:11, Jerusalem
Jalal al-Masri holds a picture of his daughter, Fatma, a 19-month-old who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in December 2021, and died as the family waited another three months for an Israeli permit to take her for treatment outside the Gaza Strip, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The death of Fatma has shone a light on the struggles faced by Palestinians from the isolated territory who require urgent medical care. Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there nearly 15 years ago. (AP Photo)

Jalal al-Masri and his wife spent eight years and their life savings on fertility treatments in order to have their daughter, Fatma. When she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in December, they waited another three months for an Israeli permit to take her for treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

The permit never came. The 19-month-old died on March 25.

“When I lost my daughter, I felt there is no more life in Gaza,” al-Masri said, his voice trembling. “The story of my daughter will happen again and again.”

Israel grants permits for what it defines as life-saving treatment to Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there in 2007.

But families must negotiate an opaque and uncertain bureaucratic process. Applications are submitted through the Palestinian Authority, reports must be stamped, paperwork processed. In the end, all the al-Masris got was a text message from the Israeli military saying the application is “being examined.”


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