The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) department has operated since the establishment of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) to represent patients and medical personnel whose access to hospitals is denied by the Israeli Security Apparatus and the Army. The department takes action against road blocks set inside the occupied Palestinian territory, the separation barrier and other restrictive measures which place physical and bureaucratic barriers between individuals and access to medical care. As a matter of principle, PHR-Israel believes that Israel must recognize its obligations as occupier, to provide medical treatment to the people in the occupied Palestinian territory and enable them free access in this regard; especially in situations where the Palestinian health-care system cannot provide the appropriate medical treatment. Read More
Freedom of Movement of Palestinian Patiants - Trends and Data 2012
This paper focuses on problems in the processing of certain groups applications. Following significant analysis, we have found that 'security considerations' continue to constitute the main obstacle for Palestinian patients requiring exit for medical care. Information gathered by PHR-Israel suggests that aspects of the security clearance process violates the right to health of residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and exposes patients and their families to harassment and often to abuse.
The Impacts of Operation "Pillar of Defense" on Children and Youth in the Gaza Strip and Israel
On November 20th, the world marked Universal Children's Day. On this day, the nations of the world commit to address the unique needs of children and youth, hear their voices, and take special measures to ensure their safety, security and wellbeing.
First Do No Harm - PHR Israel Statement, November 21, 2012
November 21, 2012.
As physicians, nurses and medical professionals, our first medical and ethical responsibility is to prevent harm from occurring. As those who witness first-hand the human cost of the current violence, we demand utmost consideration for the lives, health, and human rights of all persons. We call for immediate consideration, before more individuals are injured or killed.
Testimonies: On Medics under Fire and Medical Neutrality
On November 14thPhysicians for Human Rights–Israel (PHR Israel) called decision makersto avoid an attack on Gaza that could escalate the situation and claim more victims from both sides as indeed happens since. PHR Israel continues to advocate for non-violence and safeguarding of people’s lives.
Physicians for Human Rights - Israel: Worrisome testimonies regarding obstruction the orderly function of emergency and rescue teams in Gaza strip
On the evening of the third day of the attack on Gaza Strip, Physicians for Human Rights began receiving worrisome and severe reports regarding the obstruction of the activity of emergency and rescue teams.
"Physicians for Human Rights – Israel" call decision makers to refrain from an attack on Gaza that may cause many victims in Gaza and Israel - INC. UPDATES
Up to this moment, at least 40 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 3 Israelis have been killed. Of those killed 8 were children, 3 women an 4 elderly. Over 300 Palestinians and 74 Israelis were reported wounded.
Thirteen days of trauma: A testimony by Rawhi Qarqaz
Three years ago, Rahwi Qarqaz (42) had an accident on his motorbike and as a result he fractured his right shoulder and suffered a breakage in the cartilage of his left knee. Since then, he has undertaken numerous surgeries on several occasions, the most recent was in April 2010 after his knee ruptured. On the 15th of July 2012, Rahwi was arrested at the Erez checkpoint after applying for a permit to enter Israel and seek further treatment. He was subsequently detained for 13 days.
A Request for Intervention: 4 Palestinian Patients and a System that Denies Medical Care
Kamil, Abed Al-karim and Muhammed are residents of the Gaza Strip. They are also all in need for critical medical care. Their requests to exit Gaza to receive medical care in Palestinian medical centers in the West Bank or East Jerusalem were rejected by the Israeli authorities, disregarding the harsh consequences on their lives and health.
PHR-I & Al Mezan: Israeli Authorities Escalate Blackmail and Detention of Gazan Patients. Israeli army Arrests Another Patient at Interview with Israeli Intelligence at Erez Crossing
The Israeli authorities are continuing their policy of blackmailing patients and using the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, over which they exercise absolute control, to arrest Palestinians compelled by humanitarian needs to travel through them. Hence on Sunday, 15 July 2012, the Israeli Occupation Forces Israeli Army arrested a patient at Erez crossing, after they had called him on a previous occasion for an interview.
Patients and Escorts from Gaza Arrested on way to Medical Care
PHR Israel wishes to alert a continuation of Israel’s policy of arresting patients and those who escort them, using their need to enter Israel for medical treatment. It is important to mention that the long occupation and closure and the economic situation significantly contributed to the under development of the health system in Gaza causing it to be highly dependent on referrals to Israel or via Israel to the West Bank and East Jerusalem medical centers. This makes patients from Gaza an extremely vulnerable group.
New report from Physicians for Human Rights and Gisha: "Realizing Potential" Transitioning from preventing humanitarian crises to developing the Gaza Strip
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is pleased to present a new report, "Realizing Potential: Prospects for the Development of the Palestinian Health System and Economy in the Gaza Strip," written jointly with Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.
PHR-IL: Allowing Alquds University graduates to approach medical licensing exam
We are astound that the Ministry of Health prevents tens of the university’s graduates, residents of East Jerusalem from taking the governmental exam, and in so, harming their freedom of employment and forbidding them to practice medicine in their own city, and worse, harming the possibility to promote the health services provided to the population of East Jerusalem. Read More
Why Gaza's Healthcare Fails Thousands of Injured - Interview with Kifah Abdul Halim, PHR - Israel
In 2011, over 9,000 patients from Gaza received emergency care in Israeli hospitals. Many of the admitted were injured in Israeli attacks on the strip. Tarachansky speaks to Kifah Abdul Halim the director of Physicians for Human Rights’ occupied Palestinian territories division about why Gaza's healthcare system fails to treat the thousands of injured who are forced to seek treatment outside the strip. Read More
After a long struggle by PHR & Association for Civil Rights: Police escort to MDA teams called to East Jerusalem will be limited
After a long struggle by Physicians for Human Rights and the Association for Civil Rights, including discussions with the Ministry of Health, MDA and the Israel Police, we were informed that “the escort procedure will be limited to areas where disturbances are expected.”
Magen David Adom, Israel's ambulances service, was attacked for signing an agreement with the Palestinian Red Crecent Society. In a letter to Haaretz, Hadas Ziv explains the value of the agreement and the faults of the attacks
The declaration is not a guarantee to establish
a physical Palestinian state, in this position paper Samieh Jabareen is exploring its implications on the right to health of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
In the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between Israel's emergency evacuation service (MDA), and the PRCS MDA committed itself to act withing the internationally recognized borders of Israel. Now it caused an argument with settlers on the emblem.
(Oded Israeli photograph. The opinions and reports are solely PHRI's and do not reflect on the photographer)
From the Diary of a Doctor, Dr. Rafik Masalha in a Visit to the Gaza Strip(Feb. 2011): "At the Erez Checkpoint, as I was standing in front of the concrete walls and the enormous iron doors ...I felt - as a neurologist and a member of PHR Israel - that I can break the walls of the blockade with my humble reflex hammer."
Haaretz: When two shepherd boys were badly burned after finding a metallic object, the IDF sent a team to scour the area. So why did another boy find a similar object in the same place just two days later? Read More
Occupation's 44th year:Jerusalem, Occupation & Health Care
Dr. Abdul Shaif on Palestinian hospitals in Jerusaelm "At the advent of my career in Jerusalem, I met a scholar, who was interested in the city’s history. He stated that most Palestinian cities and communities had either economic or military significance, however, Jerusalem had neither! ...I mention this to stress the dependence of Jerusalem on the rest of the country for its viability, in all aspects of life, the health industry being no exception!"
Occupation's 44th Year: A Joint Struggle of PHR Israel & PMRS
An Interview with Dr. Skafi of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS): "We emphasize as well that Israel does not fulfill its responsibility towards the people of the Occupied Territories, but rather this is done by international, Palestinian and Israeli organizations and peace movements – they are the ones that help. But we shall not forget, it is the occupier’s responsibility..."
An Interview with Dr. Ruchama Marton, PHR Israel's founder and president: "I am for being active, for recognizing what is wrong and acting against it. It is necessary to have a vision. Without an image of a better world, we cannot recognize the injustice, a necessary condition for the struggle."
Russian Today: Palestinians pay high price for refusing to collaborate with Israelis
Russian Today: Israel is accused of blackmailing people in Gaza to become collaborators. Palestinians say they are trapped and are often only allowed to leave by agreeing to become informers for Israeli intelligence.
The Huffington Post: The restrictions on the movement of Gaza residents imposed by the Israeli government are quite literally a matter of life and death. In October, Physicians for Human Rights -- Israel reported that Nasma Abu Lasheen, a two-year-old girl diagnosed with leukemia, died in Gaza after Israeli authorities refused her permission to enter Israel for emergency treatment. Read More
The Huffington Post: Any Gauze in Gaza? Supply Shortages Add to Medical Misery Inside Strip
The Huffington Post: Four doctors from the Physicians for Human Rights, Israel, on a rare overnight visit to Gaza were appalled that the sole CT machine available in the Nasser Children's hospital has been out of service for months. They reported that new drugs are not in use and that no blood tests were carried out in January because of equipment shortages. Read More
Haaretz: Sore Eyes, 4.3.2011
Haaretz: After many delays, a diabetes patient from the Gaza Strip was finally allowed to travel to a Ramallah hospital for surgery. A fraught journey through the land of the checkpoints. Photo by: Hamada Abu Khamer Read More
For the first time in two years - Physicians for Human Rights-Israel’s delegation enters the Gaza Strip, 1.3.2011
In Reaction to the publication of the Turkel Commission Report Part I: PHR Israel: The Turkel Commission suffers from moral and legal blindness
Two weeks after the publication of PHR-IL's reportHumanitarian Minimum, which presents grave data about food and water insecurity in Gaza, growing unemployment rates and the dependency of 80% of Gaza's residents on humanitarian aid which keeps them on the verge of hunger - the members of Turkel Commission authorized Israel to continue its policy of systematic human rights violations in the Gaza Strip. It seems that the Commission's conclusions will be used as a rubber stamp for the continuous policy of occupation.
Human Rights Organizations Demand Criminal Investigation into Death of 20 Year-Old Palestinian Patient Denied Permit by Israeli Authorities to Leave Gaza
The Israeli authorities insisted that an unconscious patient appear for questioning by the Israel Security Agency; the patient died in Gaza while waiting for a response. On 5 January 2011, Adalah in its own name and on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights – Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) submitted a complaint demanding the opening of a criminal investigation and prosecution of those responsible into the suspicious death of Mr. Anas Saleh, a 20-year old Gaza resident, who died on 1 January 2011 from a liver disease in Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
Impressions from Italy – The Beaten Track exhibit opened in Rome and Florence
Following an invitation from our Italian partner organization, Medicci per i Diritti Umani (MEDU), PHR-Israel staff member Reut Katz travelled to Italy last week, along with our drawing exhibition, The Beaten Track .
The Drawings Exhibit 'The Beaten Track - Obstacles Facing Gaza Patients in Need of Medical Care' is opening in Rome, November 20th 2010
"The Beaten Track" is an exhibition of illustrations by Moran Barak inspired by the harsh journey sick people from Gaza face when having to leave Gaza in order to seek medical treatment. Barak's illustrations, presented by PHR-Israel, give form to the daily battle of Gazans as they wade through the bureaucracy of Occupation. The exhibition is travelling to Italy and will open in Rome on November 20th 2010, and in Florence on November 23rd 2010.
PHR-Israel, Gisha and Hamoked to COGAT: Reveal the Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Exit Permits by Gaza Strip Residents
On October 21, 2010, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel together with Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement and Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, petitioned the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), requesting that it reveal its criteria for evaluating requests for exit permits by Gaza Strip residents for allocated periods of time.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel testimony before the Turkel Committee to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, Wednesday 13 October 2010
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) testified Wednesday October 13th 2010, before the Turkel Committee to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010. In its testimony PHR-Israel presented data regarding the grave condition of the health services and public health in Gaza. This condition, stated PHR-Israel, is a result of Israel's control over the crossings in and out of the Gaza strip.
Physicians for Human Rights in Reply to the Turkel Commission on the Flotilla Raid: 61% of Gaza Strip Civilians (973,600 people) Suffer from Food Insecurity
Contrary to the testimony of the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories, who claimed that “the population in Gaza is not starving and it is receiving everything required for basic existence:” 80 % of the population of the Gaza Strip is relying on humanitarian aid from UN agencies *** 95% of the water in the Gaza Strip is not safe for drinking *** The 56 medical facilities damaged in Operation Cast Lead have not yet been repaired *** A shortage of medicines and medical equipment
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Activity on Mental Health in East Jerusalem
The Forum for the Development of Mental Health Services in East Jerusalem, with which Physicians for Human Rights has been actively engaged since January 2010, is composed of numerous civil social organizations, communal institutions and local activists . The Forum’s goal is to consolidate a long-range strategy as well as intermediate solutions, for coping with the serious deficiencies and defects characteristic of mental health services in East Jerusalem.
B'Tselem, Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel to testify tomorrow before Turkel commission
Representatives of the human rights organizations B'Tselem, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel will testify tomorrow, Wednesday, October 13, 2010, before the Turkel Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010.
A physician on behalf of PHR-Israel attended as the only external representative in an autopsy of a Palestinian Hebron resident killed by the Israeli police
On Sunday, 3.10.10, an autopsy of the body of Izz ad-Din Qawasbi was conducted in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. Qawasbi (38), from Hebron, was shot and killed in the Palestinian neighbourhood Al-Issawiya in East Jerusalem, on the morning of Sunday, October 3rd, by Israeli Security forces. The autopsy was conducted in the presence of Dr. Danny Rozin, an expert surgeon working in Sheba Medical Centre and volunteering at PHR - Israel, who served as an observer on behalf of Qawasbi's family, PHR-Israel and B'tselem.
Ynet: Rights groups to present Turkel Committee with data on Gaza
Ynet: The Turkel Committee, probing the Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, has summoned representations of the Physicians for Human Rights, B'Tselem and Gisha association to present data on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
Ynet: Turkel committee may summon left-wing activists
Ynet: A committee investigating the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla has appealed to a number of left-wing and humanitarian organizations asking them to report on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, according to a committee statement issued Monday.
UN Human Rights Committee - Observations on Israel, 4.8.10
UN Human Rights Committee urges Israel to ensure detainees immediate access to counsel, repeal Unlawful Combatants Law, reinstate family visits to Gaza prisoners, lift blockade on Gaza, launch independent investigations into Operation Cast Lead, end assassinations and cease collective home demolitions.
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel: A Situation Report on the Access to Health of Gaza Residents. July 6, 2010
Following the Israeli Cabinet's decision to ease the closure on the Gaza Strip, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel) releases an updated situation report on the access to health of Gaza residents. This report presents information gathered in recent months by PHR-Israel as part of its casework from Gaza patients, as well as an analysis of the obstacles patients face in accessing adequate medical treatment.
In violation of Medical Ethics and International Law: Israel Restricts the Access of Gaza Patients to Urgent Medical Treatment if their Condition is Not Life-Threatening, 29.6.10 (Photo: Erez Crossing, Gaza)
A new position paper by three human rights organizations, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL), Al-Mezan and Adalah, reviews Israel’s exit policy at the Erez Crossing regarding Gaza patients seeking medical treatment unavailable in Gaza. The paper argues that there is a consistent Israeli policy of distinguishing between life-threatening cases and cases that affect quality of life, as a basis to deny their exit from the Strip for medical treatment, which violates the principles of medical ethics and international law.