Israel Bars US Medics from Entering Gaza, Citing Links to BDS

Israeli authorities have refused entry to the occupied Gaza Strip to two members of a US medical delegation because they are Jewish, reported Haaretz.

Initially, the refusal was extended to the entire group, from the Washington branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility, citing the organization’s alleged involvement with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

After Israeli human rights NGO Gisha petitioned the Supreme Court, Haaretz reported,

However, in regard to two of the members � a neurosurgeon and a social worker with considerable experience treating people with trauma disorders � the state said they required additional security checks. The state’s final response is reportedly due tomorrow.

The delegation is attempting to enter the blockaded enclave in order to carry out consultations with colleagues on various medical issues, as well as to provide medical treatment and instruction in the clinics of the host organization, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program.

Explaining the entry refusal last month, the Israeli army noted:

However, as Haaretz reported, D’vorah Kost, one of the two delegation members who was refused entry, has visited the Gaza Strip twice: in an affidavit, she wrote that,

The physician who was refused entry, Dr. Donald Mellman, has visited the Gaza Strip seven times.

Israeli authorities also claimed that the physicians’ organization is involved in activities that encourage boycotting Israel, in cooperation with the BDS movement.

Source: Palestine Chronicle