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Israel blocking road to Palestinian patients


Mustafa Hillu writhes underneath blankets, the pain pulsing outward from the cancer in his right leg, and he cries out for someone to persuade the Zionist regime to let him in for treatment.

If the 36-year-old father of five is not granted entry soon doctors will have to amputate his leg at the groin to prevent the cancer in his femur from spreading, according to his family.

"The security services said they would not let him pass for 'security reasons.' But he can't even walk. He has cancer... we have to carry him to the bathroom," his brother Marwan says.

Mustafa clutches an official security permit that should allow him to have a femur transplant at an Israeli hospital, and he also has documents from a hospital in Tel Aviv confirming that he had an appointment on December 9.

But like dozens of seriously ill Palestinians he is confined to the Gaza Strip, itself a sick and mangled limb of the decades-old Middle East conflict.

In October the Zionist regime declared Gaza a "hostile entity" and tightened already severe restrictions on the people there.

Human rights groups have slammed the Zionist regime for refusing to admit a growing number of seriously ill patients who require treatment in its hospitals.

"I have cancer. They know I have cancer. It is not a broken bone, it is a deadly disease," Mustafa cries.

He takes around 150 grams of tranquillizers a day so he can sleep at night.

-- "Just let me go and receive treatment and come back" -- "Just let me in. Assign a security guard to me. Assign 10 security guards to me, just let me go and receive treatment and come back," he says, tears trickling onto the pillow as his wide-eyed children look on aghast.

This month the World Health Organisation expressed outrage at Gaza's deepening isolation and accused the Zionist regime of putting lives in danger by not allowing dozens of patients to leave for treatment.

The WHO says that 23 percent of requests in October for treatment in the occupied Palestine were refused, compared with 17 percent in September and 10 percent in June.

30 patients have already died as a result of the siege.

Ahmed Massud, a 20-year-old college student from the refugee camp of Jabaliya, was turned back last month by the Zionist regime's security services after an interrogation at the Erez crossing.

He has been confined to his bed for the past six months and currently weighs around 38 kilos (84 pounds) after losing nearly a third of his body weight.

"I go to the bathroom 20 times a day. There is always blood, and afterwards I am not strong enough to walk," he says in a raspy high-pitched voice.

Massud suffers from an unusual stomach disorder that may be cancerous. It is hard to say exactly what is wrong with him because the three doctors who examined him in Gaza all gave different prognoses. They agree only that he needs urgent treatment abroad.

But after half an hour's interrogation on November 20 Massud was sent home, despite already having obtained permission to leave.

Mohammed al-Attar was also denied entry. Like five of his siblings and his daughter, he suffers from a rare genetic disorder that blinded him in one eye when he was seven and is now slowly destroying the other.

"If I don't receive the treatment I will go blind. I don't know when. It could be months or weeks," he says.

His left eye is milky white, his right a blurred brown smudge.

He cannot see farther than a metre (three feet) and finds it grimly comical that the Zionist regime considers him a security threat.

"We cannot see anything," he says. "How are we supposed to fire rockets?"

(From AFP)