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Palestinian Patients Denied Adequate Treatment in Israel

Callousness on the part of Jerusalem, Gaza and Ramallah alike prevents Palestinians from getting life-saving treatment at Israeli hospitals, writes Akiva Eldar.
Members of the Palestinian security forces carry the body of Maysara Abu Hamdeya out of a hospital before his funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron April 4, 2013. Tensions have risen rapidly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following the death from cancer on Tuesday of Abu Hamdeya, 64, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTXY7TG
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The reporting on the death of Maysara Abu Hamdieh focused on concern that news of another Palestinian dying in prison would spark a wave of violent demonstrations in the territories. Few wondered why it took six months from the time Abu Hamdieh complained of sharp pain in his throat in August 2012 until he was diagnosed this past February with advanced-stage cancer. Fewer, still, wondered why he was only hospitalized at the end of March, three days before his death.

One can easily imagine the magnitude of public reaction in Israel to a report of an Israeli soldier dying in captivity, heaven forbid. We all witnessed the public campaign surrounding the President Barack Obama visit for the release of Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard, not to mention the Israeli drug dealer who was kidnapped by Hezbollah and freed, several years ago, in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

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