Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza based on the claim that there was a chance the generators attached to the machines would not be used for medical purposes, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Saturday.
According to Ma’an, the Ramallah-based health ministry said that the generators, which were donated to the Palestinian Authority by a Norwegian development agency, were seized by Israeli officials despite the fact that only one machine was bound for Gaza.
The generators “came under the category of possible use for non-medical purposes” if they were delivered to southern Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement…
At the same time, Israel continues to refuse Gazans access to health care which requires leaving Gaza – as almost all significant illnesses do given the destruction of health facilities during Operation Cast Lead and the limits on import of medical supplies:
In Gaza’s largest hospital, chemotherapy is not available. The only real shot at survival for most cancer patients here is leaving Gaza for treatment abroad. But it can take weeks for Palestinian bureaucrats to organize referrals and for Israel to approve entry… Last week Jerusalem announced it was easing the blockade on Gaza. But it hasn’t improved the situation by much for those needing urgent specialist medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government is gearing up to take over Arab owned land in East Jerusalem:
The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee at the Interior Ministry will publish in the coming weeks a new blueprint program for development in Jerusalem that will include plans to expand Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Most of the land earmarked for this expansion is privately owned by Arabs. If the plan is approved, after objections to it are heard, it will grant official approval to an urban plan for the Israeli takeover of East Jerusalem.
and settlers continue to attack Palestinian homes they want to seize with no apparent repercussions.
The world’s leaders response to these continuing threats to Palestinian survival remains the equivalent of “sternly worded letters” followed by American reassurances to Israeli leaders of full support no matter what actions they take:
Mullen and Ashkenazi held two meetings, one personal and the other extended, during the prior’s short work visit. “We discussed the threats and challenges facing us,” Ashkenazi said following the meeting. “I view Admiral Mullen as a true friend and partner.” …The meeting had also been expected to focus on the preparation by both Israel and the U.S. for the possibility of a nuclear capable Iran…
The IDF views Mullen as someone who is capable of effectively presenting Israel’s stance in Washington…
Over the last year, the cooperation between the Israeli and American militaries has grown tremendously in a string of joint exercises and the constant exchange of intel.
Ashkenazi and Mullen speak on a secure line connecting their respective offices every week, and meet somewhere in the world every several months.
Mullen made his view of the the relationship very clear:
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said Sunday emphasized that the relationship between his army and the Israel Defense Forces, adding: “I always try to see the threats and the challenges from an Israeli perspective.”
Foolish me, I had thought the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs’ job was to represent the American “perspective.”
Video: IDF video of the Mullen visit.