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Israeli soldiers delay sick, pregnant woman at Gaza-Israel border

Oct. 8, 2008 4:20 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2008 4:20 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli border police denied a pregnant woman from leaving the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, 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 Israeli officials told her that the permission had expired and denied her passage at the crossing, even though she had applied two months prior to arriving. She also said that her permission was granted for unique circumstances related to her pregnancy.

Yousif suffers from toxemia, a condition that could cause her neonate child to be born disabled. "I am worried about my baby's life," she told Ma'an, unable to understand why she was denied passage to Jerusalem.

Regardless, she intends to wait at Erez crossing until soldiers permit her to enter because officials told her it was unlikely she would be admitted to the hospital a second time. The mother-to-be added that she is expecting to deliver the child "at any moment."

Meanwhile, 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.
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