August 21, 2008

Hamas’s Haniyah Urges Red Cross to Help Lift Gaza Siege

Text of report by pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre website on 21 August

[Unattributed report: "Haniyah Asks Red Cross To Work on Lifting Siege on Gaza"]

GAZA, (PIC) - Isma'il Haniyah, the premier of the PNA caretaker government, called Wednesday [20 August] on the Red Cross delegation to work on lifting the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip and to intervene to facilitate the travel of patients for medical treatment outside the Strip.

During his meeting with the delegation headed by Katrina Ritesy, the director of the Red Cross mission in Palestine, premier Haniyah hailed the efforts made by the mission to alleviate some of the Palestinian people's suffering.

The premier urged the mission to make every possible effort to bring medical equipment into Gaza because of the Israeli restrictions imposed on travel for medical treatment abroad.

He also called on the mission to visit Palestinian detainees in PNA jails to verify the news talking about transferring some of them to hospitals as a result of torture.

Haniyah listened to a detailed explanation from Ritesy about the mission's activities in Gaza especially in providing aid for the medical sector and some infrastructure projects in Rafah and Khan Younis, and in protecting civilians from the Israeli violations.

The mission director hailed the great cooperation and flexibility shown by the prison authority in Gaza which allowed a Red Cross team to meet with and listen to prisoners.

She also promised to spare no effort to fulfil the appeals made by premier Haniyah especially with regard to patients, detainees and visiting PLC speaker Aziz Dweik in Israeli jails to be informed about his health status.

In a serious development, the health ministry in Gaza warned Wednesday in a report received by the PIC that 91 types of medicines are expected to be depleted from its stores during four months which constitutes a danger to the lives of dozens of patients in the Strip.

The ministry appealed to the Arab League, the organization of the Islamic conference and the Red Cross to urgently intervene to pressure the IOA to lift its suffocating siege on the Strip and to open all crossings especially the Rafah border terminal to save the lives of patients.

Originally published by Palestinian Information Centre website in Arabic 21 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Middle East. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.