In Gaza, families plead for help after two infants die awaiting permits for medical treatment

Omar Yaghi aged 9 months who died last week in Gaza after failing to get medical treatment

Tareq S Hajjaj reports in Mondoweiss:

Two infants have died in the Gaza Strip awaiting permits for medical treatment in Israel, a tragedy that Palestinians anxiously fear could expand in the coming weeks. Permits for Gaza’s sickest patients to receive treatment in Israel and the West Bank ended abruptly on May 19 when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced an end to coordination with Israel. It was a protest move against Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank in July.

The first child died last week, nine-month-old Omar Yaghi who awaited permission to exit Gaza for surgery for a cardiac abnormality. On Monday, Anwar Harb died nine days after his birth, also from a cardiac disease.

On Wednesday the United Nations Special Envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov said both Israel and the Palestinian Authority were responsible for “the ending of civilian coordination” and Omar Yaghi’s death.

“Already, a [nine]-month-old infant has lost his life due to this situation,” Mladenov said. “Surely there must be a red line when it comes to the lives of children.”

Jehad Yaghi, Omar’s grandfather said “he would have survived if he had his remaining two surgeries which were supposed to be on May 21 at Sheba hospital in Israel.”

“The lives of the patients are sacred and should not be manipulated for political situations. Omar would have been in his family’s arms by now if he had undergone surgery when it was scheduled. The doctors confirmed as much, however, he passed. An angel who had a charming smile, he passed away only because he was sick in Gaza,” he said.

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