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What if Islington or Oxford was under occupation...
2 September 2013
What if a massive wall were built across your local high street preventing you from travelling to the other side of town? What if the only way through was via a checkpoint controlled by foreign, occupying soldiers? What if that foreign force decided whether or not you could get a permit to get to hospital?
These are the questions Medical Aid for Palestinians’ current campaign is asking people in Oxford and Islington. We want to raise awareness about what life would be like if their local town was under military occupation – the sort of life 4 million Palestinians face in the West Bank and Gaza every day.
The facts behind this campaign are indeed shocking. The West Bank has over 500 roadblocks and checkpoints,which at any time can be closed to prevent Palestinians travelling in their own country. Six specialist hospitals are located in East Jerusalem, on the other side of the separation wall for most Palestinians; a wall which cuts deep into the West Bank. To travel from the West Bank or Gaza to East Jerusalem, Palestinians have to apply for a permit from the Israeli authorities, which can be denied without explanation. Last year over 39,000 Palestinians were denied travel permits just to get to hospitals, according to the World Health Organisation. As a proportion of the UK population, that would be roughly equivalent to 685,000 people in the UK not able to get to hospital when they were in need, or the entire population of Glasgow. Imagine if here in the UK even one person was refused permission to get to hospital – the public outcry would be immense.
Our point in telling this story is to encourage more people to join us in our mission to safeguard the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.
If you want to help Palestinians to have access to healthcare, then please donate to MAP today.
We promise to use your donation to support the medical and health needs of the Palestinian people, wherever the need is greatest.