Israeli Occupation Affects Medically-Compromised Citizens


Israel has been occupying parts of Palestine for more than 40 years and it has resulted in serious problems for the locals. Israeli security forces reroute traffic, prevent travel out of the area, and frequently close local borders in response to security alerts. Although these moves are to be expected, they have made the lives of locals extremely difficult and downright dangerous. Most civilians in the occupied-area make it a point to follow local rules and regulations but this has not prevented tragic situations from developing. A case in question is of Samir Al-Nadim who died simply due to clerical delays.


Surgery Delayed, Patient Dies

Samir Al-Nadim had a heart condition. Although it was being treated at a local Gaza hospital, his brother Ayyad stated that essential medications were in short supply. However, his Palestinian doctor recommended heart surgery in Nablus. After considering the alternatives, his family decided to prepare for the surgery well in advance. Israel does not allow travel from the occupied area and without the right paperwork, there was no way that Samir would be allowed to travel even for medical treatment.

Understanding the problem, his family filled in the paperwork with the Palestinian liaison authority. To expedite the issue, family members also filed the necessary paperwork with local medical and humanitarian organizations like ‘Doctors For Human Rights.’ However, they were informed that Israeli authorities would not accept requests made by charitable and medical organizations. As a result, Israeli authorities ignored and eventually refused to evaluate the medical reports submitted. This medical report contained a vital medical evaluation carried out by an Israeli doctor at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. The medical report recommended urgency and stated that the Samir’s was critical. Treatment could not be delayed at any cost.

This administrative delay resulted in the family refilling the paperwork and the red tape resulted in a delay of more than 20 days. However, this delay proved dangerous to Samir. In this time, Samir developed an infection, a high temperature, and his organs started failing. In the end, the delay proved costly and even though he was transferred to Nablus, he died a day after reaching the hospital. His grieving family has since returned back to the Gaza region. Samir is survived by his wife, and three children who range in age from one to four.

Tragic Loss of Life

No matter how you spin it, the fact is that another life was lost. In a war that has been raging for several decades, another life does not seem relevant but it is. A young innocent Palestinian youngster lost his life due to the Israeli occupation when his family and his doctor did everything possible and followed every rule possible to try and get his medical care. All it required was a little human compassion and Samir Al-Nadim would have been hale and hearty with his loving family. It’s a tragedy that could have easily been prevented.