Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (http://www.end-gaza-siege.ps)
Age: 4-years old*
Location: Khan Younis*
*Status: *Permission for bone marrow transplant in Israel rejected on
April 13, 2008 for the fourth time by Israeli District Coordinating Office
(DCO) at Erez crossing point.
Rivat Mheisin, responsible for the coordination and liaison office for
the Palestinian Authority (PA) health ministry, located at Erez crossing,
informed Islam's father that the ambulance for his son did have
permission to cross into Israel.
Israel has denied all four requests for treatment in Israel and/or
abroad without specifying the reasons for rejection.
*Islam Alassouli** is a four-year child living in Khan Younis camp, in
southern Gaza. 12-days from birth Islam was diagnosed with pure red
cell aplasia **(PRCA). *
*Islam's bone marrow is unable to produce red blood cells due to the
disease. He also suffers from anemia, a condition generally caused by
Islam requires monthly blood transfusions to survive, since he suffers
from severe anemia. Transfusion therapy can lead to an excess of iron in
the body, stored in the heart, liver and other essential organs. If gone
untreated, it will eventually cause severe organ damage. Transfusions
can also transmit infections.
Therefore, Islam has been using 'Desferal infusions' that reduce iron
levels in his body. The 'Desferal infusions' are carried out for 16 hours per
day on a daily basis.
At four-years old, it is difficult for Islam to physically tolerate
the infusion therapy.
Medical officials from the Health Ministry in Gaza assert Islam must
use a 'Desferal infusion' pump instead of the ordinary infusion therapy.
This device injects the drug intravenously within a specified period of
The pump is not available in Gaza due to the siege imposed on Gaza's
civilian population. Islam's parents have also been unable to secure
Desferal drugs and iron supplements, unavailable in Gaza pharmacies.
Israel effectively sealed all commercial and passenger border crossing
to Gaza in an effort to halt the increasing rocket fire into Israel.
Food, medicine, and other vital and basic supplies are running
dangerously low in Gaza because of the severity of the nine month closure,
according to UNRWA.
In terms of medicines, the WHO report that 91 of the 416 drugs listed
as essential are at zero level. The siege has caused a severe shortage
of drugs and medicines in Gaza hospitals and health clinics.
Islam has applied for permission four times to receive his medication
and treatment either in Israel or abroad.
Israel has denied all four requests without specifying the reasons of
Islam applied once for permission to receive treatment in Al-Arabi
hospital in Nablus, West Bank and now three times to receive treatment in
Tel-Hashomer hospital in Israel.
Islam's parents were issued a referral by the PA health ministry to
treat Islam in Tel-Hashomer Hospital in Israel. In kind, Tel-Hashomer
confirmed Islam would be accepted for treatment. The expenses for Islam's
treatment are covered by the PA.
Due to the Israeli closure over Gaza, Islam does not have the option
to receive medical care in Egypt, Jordan, or elsewhere.
Islam's parents are submitting a fifth application, while Physicians
for Human Rights is following his case.
For further information please contact:
*The Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza*
Ayman Quader (Arabic)
Said Al-Madhoun (English)
*Saed Alassouli (Islam's Father)*
*Physicians for Human Rights, Israel *
Miri Weingarten, director of the Occupied Palestinian Territory