Letter To: Ambassador French Ambassador to Israel
To: Ambassador Gerard Araud French Ambassador to Israel
Regarding: Mr. Anwar Salah Slame `Attaallah
I turn to you with a request regarding Mr. Anwar Salah Slame `Attaallah, a resident of the Gaza Strip Mr. `Attaallah, a resident of the Gaza Strip, was chosen to take part in a special training course in France, as part of an effort of the French Consulate and the Palestinian Ministry of Health, to establish a medical imaging and treatment center in Gaza, which will be part of Shifa Hospital, in order to be able to diagnose and treat cancer. Mr. `Attaallah is the top candidate to receive this training in France and to fill the position in Gaza following his return based on his experience and merit.
The Israeli authorities have refused to allow Mr. `Attaallah to leave the Gaza Strip, in spite of our repeated requests, to which were attached various documents including letters from the French Consulate in Jerusalem.
Today, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, together with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Mr. `Attaallah have petitioned the Israeli High Court on this matter. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel objects to limitations on freedom of movement which are in violation of international law. Specifically, we condemn violation on freedom of movement which negatively affect medical workers and hospital staff. As per article 20 of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949: "Persons regularly and solely engaged in the operation and administration of civilian hospitals…shall be respected and protected." The accepted understanding of this includes people like Mr. `Attaallah, who are needed members of the hospital staff, or are receiving training needed in order to work in the field and thus benefit the health situation of the protected people.
We request your intervention for Mr. `Attaallah so that he may be allowed to travel to France and receive the needed training. The center which will be established will benefit the patients of the Gaza Strip, and help them attain a higher level of accessibility to health, which is a basic human right. The Israeli military should not prevent his travel, nor interfere with his return, and we hope that you might intercede to effect a change of the current situation.
Sincerely, Tomer Feffer Executive
Director Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Tel Aviv CC:
French Consulate in Jerusalem