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Saturday, October 22, 2005


'Even the Sick Are Punished'

Mustapha Sabri, Qalqilya 11:20 am 22.10.05

“The occupation shows no mercy – even the sick are punished.” These are the words of a weary husband, watching his wife battle illness and the Israeli occupation, which has denied her a permit to enter Jerusalem and seek treatment in one of its hospitals.

His fate in God his only weapon, Bassam Hazza’ or Abu Iyad from Qalqilya tells his story. “My wife is ill with cancer and needs immediate treatment in Al Maqassed Hospital because her health situation is quickly deteriorating. She cannot even move without someone’s help. After trying everything they could, her doctors decided to transfer her to Al Maqassed to continue her treatment there and try to stop the deterioration and close up a hole that has shown up in one of her leg bones.”

Abu Iyad continues, “I put in an application for a permit for my wife and for myself so I could be there with her during treatment. However, the Israeli intelligence services rejected us for “security reasons” because my three sons are in jail in the Hasharon Prison.”

Abu Iyad is incredulous. “What kind of law governs the occupation? My wife cannot walk, she is quickly slipping away. How does preventing my wife from entering Jerusalem to seek treatment help security?”

The Hazza’ family has enough grief to cope with. Three of their sons were arrested by the Israeli army. “My son Iyad, 22, was arrested in a special army operation in 2002 and was sentenced to eight years in prison. A little while later, the attorney general rejected the sentencing and now there is a retrial to try and re-sentence him to life imprisonment. As for Hazza’, 21, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. My third son, Mohammed is serving four years.”

Denying them permits is nothing new to Hazza’ and his wife. “My wife and I have been banned from visiting our sons for over a year, again for ‘security reasons.’ This has taken a painful toll on us – not only are the occupation’s measures against the prisoners, but their families as well.”

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