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Israeli doctors barred from Gaza Strip

Oct. 8, 2008 2:15 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2008 2:15 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Israel barred a team of its own doctors from entering the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday, blocking a mission that sought to provide medicine and treatment to the Strip's residents.

Most of the nine doctors are Palestinian citizens of Israel. The planned visit to Gaza was organized by the Tel Aviv-based group Physicians for Human Rights. Israeli authorities had approved the team for entry a few days ago.

Udah Kawari, a spokesperson of the European Hospital in Gaza asserted that the Israeli military has kept the physicians at the Erez crossing since 10am today.

Kawari said that patients who were to be treated by the visiting doctors organized a demonstration at the hospital to protest of Israel's decision to bar the team.

According the Kawari, the team included specialists in several fields of medicine, and they brought with them 22 million US dollars worth of surgical equipment in addition to prosthetic knee joints.

The European Hospital had prepared a list of 333 patients to be treated by the doctors.

Separately, on Wednesday, Israeli border officials denied a pregnant woman from leaving the Gaza Strip, despite that she had previously obtained permission to receive medical treatment at the Al-Maqasid Hostpital in Jerusalem.

32-year-old Halah Yousif had been waiting at the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip since noon on Wednesday after receiving a call confirming that her request for an entry permit had been accepted. But soldiers continued to delay her into the early evening.
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