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Gaza patients forced to cover 'Palestine logo' to cross Erez
Published Thursday 13/02/2014 (updated) 15/02/2014 20:04
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An Israeli army tank is seen at the Erez border crossing with
the Palestinian Gaza Strip on November 21, 2012.(AFP/Jack Guez)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian and Israeli civil liaison departments reached a deal on Thursday to allow patients from Gaza to enter Israel for medical treatment after earlier being denied access because their referral letters contained the "State of Palestine" logo.

Palestinian officials told Ma'an that the officials met Wednesday afternoon at the Erez crossing to try to find a temporary solution for patients seeking medical care.

A deal was reached to cross out the words "State of Palestine" on all official referral letters in order to allow patients entry to Israel, the officials said.

Over 190 patients were eventually allowed to cross into Israel and travel to the West Bank for medical treatment after the logo was blurred out.

On Wednesday, 70 patients who were scheduled to travel to the West Bank via the Erez crossing for treatment were denied entry because they presented documents including the "State of Palestine" on the letterheads.

"This is a political decision from the Israelis to exert pressure in the negotiations," a senior Palestinian official at the Gaza district coordination office said.

A spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit responsible for coordinating civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, confirmed that the permits had been refused because they were submitted on stationary bearing the problematic logo.

The PLO declared independence unilaterally in 1988 and was recognized as a "non-member observer state" by the United Nations in 2012.

More than 130 countries today recognize Palestine's existence as a state, but Israel refuses to do so.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) Lynx / Palestine
13/02/2014 11:02
Zio-Nazis! No other description suits these cruel vampires.

2 ) Dimi / Germany
13/02/2014 11:25
Let us imagine the situation would be reversed, would the Palestinians allow Israelis to cross from Israel to Israel(even without Israel-logo)??? Such steps can only lead to overreactions from both sides and are not helpful for better understanding.

3 ) Heracles / Paris
13/02/2014 13:58
No 2 ...Dimwit ............ Did you not know that roads are specifically built in occupied Palestine for the use of Israeli occupiers / settlers .only ............ the indigenous Palestinian people are not permitted to travel freely in their own land ...... perhaps this is the 'better understanding' you sorely need !!!

4 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
13/02/2014 14:24
#Dimi "Israel" cross over Palestinian land every single day 24/7, so don't talk like a horse with no head. They even have settlers only roads.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/02/2014 16:19
Sarah you dupe, please post the link to a map showing the "settler-only" roads. There are something like 7000km of roads in the west bank and only 64 km blocked to Pal access...meaning 99% of roads are open to Pals. However, Pal road system is closed to Israelis - if I drive into Nablus or Ramallah I will be lynched, unless the Pal police rescue me first. I wish I could cross 24/7 to Pal lands, but I can't. The kanafe is so good there!

6 ) Border / Crossing
13/02/2014 16:24
Palestinians from Gaza should not be allowed to enter Israel regardless what is written on their paper. They should go to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and other brother Arab countries. Until Hamas government recognize Israel, renounce violence, disarm and dismantle terrorist organization, the border between Israel and Gaza should be closed and sealed.

7 ) Monica Minge / USA
13/02/2014 16:41
@3 Either you do not know or you are just ignorant. The West Bank (Judea and Samaria) is land that the Jordanians lost. Because they did not fight for the land as hard as the Jews. @4 ''They even have settlers only roads.'' Yes. That's because the Jews fought, and died for the land.

8 ) Robby / USA
13/02/2014 17:02
2 ) Dimi / Germany - if the situation was reversed HAMAS would probably not allow ANY patients from Israel in for treatment. Israel does not yet recognize the State of Palestine, what is so hard to understand about that?

9 ) Outlier / USA
13/02/2014 19:29
When one depends on the kindness of strangers, one is wise not to intentionally piss off said strangers. Would these individuals rather stay home and take their chances on the Palestinian medical system? Probably not.

10 ) Arnold / Canada
15/02/2014 00:17
So get treated in Gaza or Egypt.

11 ) jorge / argentina
15/02/2014 09:32
Dimy, you are right. Palestinians are very lucky that israel allows them to cross for medical aid. I never heard about a state that care about the people that attempt to erradicate it and take its lands.

12 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
24/02/2014 22:13
@#3: Palestinians are "indigenous"? Jews had 1,322 years of sovereign rule on the land before the first Arab CONQUERED the land in 638-including 300 years before the first Arab stepped into history IN ARABIA. Arabs are the Occupiers. They have NEVER had a nation on the land. As for your fantasy about "Settler Only" roads there has never been such a thing. There ARE 300km of "Israeli Only" roads. 20% of Israelis ARE Arab. They run parallel to Palestinian Only Rds and do so because of terrorism.
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