( Haaretz ) - The defense establishment is preventing the entry into Israel of six Palestinians from the Gaza Strip in urgent need of medical attention, Army Radio reported on Sunday.
The six, all sick with cancer or heart conditions, twice requested permission to enter, and were denied both times due to security considerations, according to the report.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has taken up the cause of the six to gain access to medical car in Israel. The defense establishment refuses to explain the security concerns on which its bases its refusal, and PHR Chairman Danny Filk fears that it represents a wider intention to punish Gaza Strip residents for Hamas ' violent takeover of the coastal territory in June.
Inas al- Najar , a 20-year-old cancer patient from Gaza, is seeking to enter Israel for urgent treatment in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where she has been treated in the past.
Her father, Mohammad al- Najar , said that the defense establishment conditioned its permission for Inas to leave Gaza on her agreement to become a collaborator for Israel.
"An oncology patient, or a 16-year-old girl with a congenital heart defect - these are cases in need of urgent care," says Filk .
"The medical conditions of those patients can degenerate from day to day, and weeks of delays - that's a lot of time. Maybe it's not a matter of months, but it doesn't take months for a condition to become irreversible," he continued.
Defense officials said in response that the "requests are being examined in an expedited fashion. These are complex cases demanding close examination, with the objective of ruling out possible security risks."