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Gaza doctors 'barred from medical conference' in Jerusalem

Dec. 9, 2011 12:31 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2011 12:31 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says the health ministry in the Gaza Strip is preventing medical professionals from receiving training in Israel.

A medical delegation was barred from crossing at the Erez terminal ahead of a medical conference in Jerusalem, a statement from the rights group said Thursday.

Bassam al-Badri, an external medical treatment specialist, was told by the World Health Organization that the Gaza health ministry had banned him and and four members of his delegation.

Badri represented a delegation appointed by the Palestinian Authority's health ministry in Ramallah, but his travel apparently required permission from the Gaza health minister, Bassem Naim.

Dr Mahmoud Dhaher, director of the WHO in Gaza, said in a statement released by PCHR that he was surprised by Naim's decision to bar the five participants.

It resulted in the cancellation of the Gaza health ministry's delegation too, according to the rights group. However, the nine members of its delegation were not banned from leaving.

The group condemned the ban and called it illegal "as any ban on travel must be warranted by the judiciary," while security forces have no say and especially not the health ministry.
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