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Husband tells of wife's struggle at Rafah passage

Khalil Al Assali, Gulf News


Zeinab Abu Garsh from Rafah in Gaza, stranded on the Gaza Egypt border for 40 days, sits in front of her luggage in the Egyptian frontier town of Rafah.

July 20, 2007

Occupied Jerusalem: "Please destroy the wall and let me get through to see my children before I die. I can't stand it." These were the last words of Sana' Shanan, a 27-year-old woman from the Jabalyah camp who has been stuck at the Rafah passage, which has been closed for almost two months.

Her 35-year-old husband, Salim, told Gulf News that he called to check on her health and heard her desperation. He recounted her words, "Nobody cares about the Palestinians' suffering ... nobody can live for 38 days under the burning sun."

She asked God to help her and the many other sick people who are threatened by death. Salim who was trying to suppress his tears added that "Sana' left me and three children: the eldest Jamal Salim Shalhah is four, Mohammad is three and the youngest is six months old and never stops crying for his mother who has not been able to give him her love."

Sana' had fallen sick with hepatocirrhosis (a chronic disease due to degeneration of the liver cells) and had travelled to Cairo for treatment. After her successful treatment, she headed back to the Rafah passage to return home, but instead she found herself waiting for her death.

She is one of more than 28 Palestinians who have died at the Rafah passage since its closure after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.

Since that day, the number of Palestinians stuck at the Rafah passage and Al Arish airport has reached more than 12,000.

They are living a tragedy, especially after spending all their money on motels and are now resorting to living on the streets and in gardens.

They have sold their personal belongings from watches to clothes. A number of them have left to Cairo seeking relief, but more than six thousand still remain stuck.

Most of those people are women, children and the elderly. The situation has led to the deterioration of health conditions for some people who have chronic diseases since they are not provided with medicine and money.

They have also not received any humanitarian aid from the government except for $100 (about Dh367) for each family from the resigned government of Hamas.

Humanitarian organisations have warned that the situation is quickly deteriorating and if a solution is not found or if the Palestinians are not transferred to the Gaza Strip or to Cairo, then the mortality rate will quickly increase.

:: Article nr. 34686 sent on 21-jul-2007 15:59 ECT


Link: www.gulfnews.com/region/Middle_East/10140506.html

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