Israel admits Gaza patients after dispute over 'Palestine' logo

GAZA Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:20am EST

1 of 2. Suhad al-Katib, a Palestinian woman patient who suffers cancer sits inside her house after she was not allowed to enter Israel, in Gaza City February 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammed Salem

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GAZA (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday allowed the entry of some 35 Palestinian medical patients from the Gaza Strip after initially barring them because "State of Palestine" had appeared on the letterhead of their application.

A Palestinian official said Israel relented and permitted their entry without any change to the logo. An Israeli official said the letterhead had been changed to the "Palestinian Authority".

Israel does not recognize a Palestinian state, whose creation it says should stem from peace negotiations. It voted against a U.N. General Assembly resolution in 2012 that gave de facto recognition to a sovereign Palestinian state.

"After our intervention, the Israelis allowed the patients to enter with the same papers, with the words State of Palestine," said Nasser al-Sarraj, deputy Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs.

Citing its opposition to the state logo, Israel banned about 50 patients from crossing on Wednesday but permitted the entry of 10 others deemed to be urgent cases.

A spokesman for Israel's military-run COGAT authority, which issues entry permits, said the entry requests were re-submitted under a Palestinian Authority letterhead, an entity established under interim peace deals.

"Thirty-five requests were examined and approved and they are expected to cross today. The rest, cases that are not urgent, are still being examined. In all, 200 patients and their escorts are expected to cross today," said Major Guy Inbar.

Sarraj said Israeli and Palestinian health officials would hold further discussions over the issue.

Israeli treatment for patients from the Gaza Strip - an enclave run by Hamas Islamists hostile to Israel - is arranged by the Palestinian Authority, headquartered in the West Bank.

Palestinian health ministry officials rejected the Israeli ban on Wednesday as a "blackmail" and said they have been using the new letterhead for a year.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi and Maayan Lubell, Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Ralph Boulton)

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Comments (3)
Nasty_Celt wrote:
Perhaps if Israel stopped bombing Palestinian hospitals and other infrastructure they wouldn’t need to use sick people as pawns in their attempt to take the rest of Palestine for themselves. How long must Palestinians continue to pay for German war crimes?

Feb 13, 2014 5:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Nasty_Celt wrote:
Perhaps if Israel stopped bombing Palestinian hospitals and other infrastructure they wouldn’t need to use sick people as pawns in their attempt to take the rest of Palestine for themselves. How long must Palestinians continue to pay for German war crimes?

Feb 13, 2014 5:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VultureTX wrote:
@Nasty Celt – cute a canadian aryan pagan anti semite (born to late to join with Hitler) defending palestinians who to this day worship Nazis for killing jews (read Abbas’s collegiate writings) .

but seriously maybe Hamas should stop storing arms in hospitals, putting command bunkers under hospitals, or even stop themselves from raiding hospitals .. Yeah funny how it is that HMAS and the other terrorists abuse the RED Cross status of hospitals on a monthly basis; no you gotta blame the jews instead.

Feb 14, 2014 10:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
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