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Israeli volunteers drive sick Gazans from border to hospital

Every day, Israeli volunteers drive Gazan medical patients, including children sick with cancer, from the Gaza border checkpoint to hospitals in Israel.

The conversation with Jamal, a resident of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, was fraught with emotion — long periods of silence punctured by weeping. His 11-year-old daughter, Rima, was diagnosed several months ago with leukemia, and he fought for weeks with the Gaza health authorities to get permission to take her out of the Gaza Strip for life-saving treatment in Israel.

“When we got there, her situation was almost hopeless. They said she could not be saved,” he told Al-Monitor, asking that only his first name be used. Initially, he said, the doctors considered sending her home, but eventually Rima underwent a bone marrow transplant and her situation improved, though she was still not out of the woods. In November, she was released from the hospital to return to her home in Gaza. Once every two weeks she has to go back to the Israeli hospital for checkups and monitoring.

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