Israeli Supreme Court temporarily halts plan to return Palestinian hospital patients to Gaza after doctors appeal

Israel’s Supreme Court has temporarily halted a government plan to send a group of Palestinian patients being treated in East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv hospitals back to Gaza.

The decision follows a petition by the Israeli non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights Israel, which decided to take action following a CNN report on the Palestinian hospital patients.

“Returning residents to Gaza during a military conflict and a humanitarian crisis is against international law and poses a deliberate risk to innocent lives,” the organization’s spokesperson Ran Yaron said Wednesday. “All the more so when it concerns patients who may face a death sentence due to insanitary conditions and hunger, along with the unlikely availability of medical care.”

Following the group’s appeal, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction to prevent the Israeli government from sending around two dozen Palestinian patients and their companions back to Gaza.

The Palestinians were set to be bussed to Gaza early Thursday morning. However, after the temporary court injunction, the Israeli government delayed that until at least Monday, hospital officials told CNN.

Dr. Fadi Atrash, CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital, which is treating Gazan cancer patients, and another hospital official confirmed the delay to CNN.

Among the Palestinians, most of whom were granted access to Jerusalem hospitals by Israeli authorities before October 7, are five newborn babies and their mothers who have been living at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem.

The group also included cancer patients now in remission who were being treated at Augusta Victoria Hospital, according to hospital officials and humanitarian officials.

A handful of the Palestinian patients the Israeli government wants to send back to Gaza are also being treated at Tel HaShomer Hospital in the Tel Aviv suburbs, the officials said.

CNN previously reported on the plight of the patients, where mothers expressed to us their conflicting emotions about returning to Gaza – with a desire to be reunited with family and other children, but also the instinct to protect their newborns by staying in Jerusalem.

Source: CNN

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