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Press Release: Israeli authorities’ arrest a patient’s accompanier at Erez Crossing, blocking patient from access to urgent medical care

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25 November 2021 |Reference 100/2021

The Israeli authorities continue to use Erez Crossing to arrest Palestinians in Gaza after granting them crossing permits. In the latest case, Hasan Abu Mustafa, was arrested while accompanying his wife—a patient requiring treatment that is unavailable in Gaza—to receive care in the West Bank. Within 2021, the Israeli forces have arrested five Palestinians, three of whom were accompanying patients, at Erez Crossing.


Al Mezan’s field information shows that Hasan Mustafa Suliman Abu Mustafa, 49, was arrested on Wednesday morning, 24 November 2021, by the Israeli authorities at Erez Crossing, after leaving at around 6am to escort the patient. His brother, Khaled, stated that Hasan was accompanying Khaldia Ismael Musa Abu Mustafa, 50, who has multiple eye diseases. He clarified that Khaldia’s treatment was obstructed by the arrest of her husband, who was informed of his detention and told to return to Gaza. Hasan’s location is unknown.


The complex and slow permit procedures required for Palestinian patients from Gaza often result in the denial of care, with permits either being rejected or kept under prolonged review, which ultimately causes missed hospital appointments. Reportedly, these arbitrary and unnecessary procedures lead to the deterioration of patients’ health. According to Al Mezan’s documentation, this year alone, four patients died, two of whom were children, after their access to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip was obstructed by the Israeli authorities. Only patients in need of urgent and lifesaving care are referred outside of the Gaza Strip.


Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the arrest of a patient’s accompanier and the obstruction of a patient’s medical treatment, which may exacerbate her health condition.


Al Mezan maintains that Israel’s misconduct reflects a derogation of its legal obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. The Center further asserts that these practices have catastrophic physical and psychological effects on patients and their accompaniers.


Accordingly, Al Mezan reiterates its calls for urgent international intervention to ensure that Israel, the occupying power, respect patients’ rights to health and freedom of movement.