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MoH: Israel prevents delivery of oxygen to hospitals

June 25, 2010 11:40 A.M. (Updated: June 28, 2010 9:37 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Seven oxygen machines donated to the Palestinain Authority by a Norwegian development agency were seized by Israeli officials en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, the Ramallah-based health ministry said.

The machines, the ministry said in a Thursday statement, were confiscated by Israeli officials who claimed that the generators attached "came under the category of possible use for non-medical purposes" if they were delivered to the southern Gaza governorates.

While only one generator was bound for southern Gaza, all seven were taken, the statement said, and "all were badly needed for medical treatment."

The six others were bound for government hospitals in the northern Gaza, inducing the European Hospital in Gaza City, the Rafdieyah hospital in Nablus, and other facilities in Ramallah and Hebron.

The Ministry of Health made an official appeal to the Norwegian Development Agency, which had supplied the machines, asking that hey intervene and demand the release of the equipment at the soonest possible date.

"Any delay in obtaining the medical equipment will negatively affect the health of patients," the statement concluded, holding all partners responsible for the well being of Palestinians as the goods are withheld.
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