Holy Land: patients suffer as wall blocks access to hospitals

 Israel's partition wall is now preventing more than 10,000 chronically-ill Palestinians from getting to hospital - say three leading medical organisations. Over 100,000 pregnant women will not have access to healthcare and 130,000 Palestinian children may not be immunised once the barrier is finished. Doctors from Human Rights-Israel, Medicins du Monde, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have launched a joint campaign to highlight the impact of the barrier on healthcare services. They say almost a third of West Bank villages will suffer from lack of access to a health system in each region once the structure is finished. "The wall has put Palestinian healthcare at risk, both for patients and medical staff that have difficulties accessing or are denied access to hospitals," said Medicins Du Monde president Francois Jeanson. Ruchama Marton, a psychiatrist who heads Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, said the wall would have a damaging effect on both Israelis and Palestinians. She said: "The main goal of the wall is to hide the Palestinians from the Israelis because otherwise it may be possible to identify with their suffering and see them as human beings." Israel says the barrier is necessary to prevent Palestinian suicide attacks. For more information and factsheets on the wall visit: www.stopthewall.org/ Source: Amos Trust

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