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Gazan mother arrives in Ramallah to reunite with daughter in need of kidney transplant

March 1, 2018 2:17 P.M. (Updated: March 3, 2018 7:13 P.M.)
Palestinians cross Qalandiya checkpoint on second Friday of Ramada (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrived in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to join her 12-year-old daughter, who had arrived earlier in the week, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Salwa Attar was reunited on Wednesday with her daughter Inaam, who was previously reported to be 13-years-old.

Inaam had traveled on Tuesday from Gaza with her uncle who she is receiving the transplant from. The girl was supposed to travel with her parents, but they were denied permits to leave Gaza by Israeli authorities.

Following a public outcry and intervention from Palestinian officials, Israel agreed to grant Attar a permit to leave Gaza to the West Bank to be with her daughter in preparation for the kidney transplant.

Wafa added that Inaam has been in and out of hospitals in Gaza since birth receiving medical treatment for kidney issues.

Earlier this month, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) released a joint statement saying the record-low rate of permits issued by Israel for Palestinians seeking vital medical treatment outside Gaza “underlines the urgent need for Israel to end its decade-long closure of the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli authorities approved permits for medical appointments for only 54 percent of those who applied in 2017, the lowest rate since the World Health Organization (WHO) began collecting figures in 2008.

WHO reported that 54 Palestinians, 46 of whom had cancer, died in 2017 following denial or delay of their permits.

Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its more than 2 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current trends were not altered. However, a report released in 2017 by the UN said that “life for the average Palestinian in Gaza is getting more and more wretched,” and that for the majority of Gaza's residents, the territory may already be unlivable.

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