Friday, January 14, 2011

Mailbag: Let The Child Be Treated!

This just in from Gershom Gorenberg:

I am trying to help a three and a half year old Palestinian girl from the West Bank who suffers from CP get essential care at an excellent hospital in Jerusalem. The girl's name is Dalal Rusrus. According to Dr. Eliezer Be'eri of Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem, if Dalal is treated, there is even a chance that she might eventually be able to walk. If she is not treated, she will not even be able to use a wheelchair.

The Civil Administration is refusing to give her parents permission to enter Jerusalem, which makes it impossible for her to receive care. You can help by contacting the relevant spokespeople and asking why they aren't getting permits. If the authorities know the world is interested, there is a reasonable chance that they could grant the permits to avoid the embarrassment. Please note: The girl needs to get a permit by Monday. So send an email today, and take ten minutes when you get up Sunday to make a phone call or three.

The Israeli hospital wants to help her. Israelis and foreign donors have contributed for her care. Instead of letting this humanitarian cooperation take place, the military bureaucracy is standing in the way.

After Dr. Be'eri examined Dalal in the West Bank in October, Alyn hospital invited her to come for a full examination. Two appointments were canceled because her parents could not get permits. Finally, her mother was given a permit and Dalal was given a multi-disciplinary examination on Dec. 20.

Now Dalal is supposed to go to Alyn on Monday, Jan 17 for a preliminary treatment, and then be hospitalized on Jan 23 for two weeks. In order for the treatment to happen, permits are needed for her parents, especially for her father. The mother is caring for a 9-month-old infant and it would be extremely difficult for her to be the one to accompany Dalal. The family has no immediate relatives in the area who would be able to help out.

So what you do is write or call both of the spokespeople below and the Civil Administration health official, say that you are writing a story, and you want to know if the Osama, Sunya and Dalal Rusrus have received permits to enter Jerusalem and if not, why not. The name of the spokespeople link to their email addresses. You should include the ID numbers of Osama, Sunya and Dalal, which you will find below.

IDF Spokesman's Office (Foreign Press Branch):
Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovitz: 972 2-5485807/2, Fax: 972 2-5485825, Mobile: 972 57-8186248

Civil Administration, Judea and Samaria:
Capt. Amir Koren: 972 2-9977372, Fax: 972 2-9977341, Mobile: 972 50-6234081

Civil administration health coordinator:
Dalia Basa: 972-2-9977084, or 972-2-9977022, Fax: 972-2-9977041

Here are the ID numbers:
Osama Rusrus 909512386
Sunya Rusrus 903627057
Dalal Rusrus 420037004

You can find more information on her story at these links:
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/twilight-zone-the-long-road-to-treatment-1.332683
http://southjerusalem.com/2010/12/saving-dalal/
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=crossing_borders_10

For all further info to build the story, you can contact the B'Tselem human-rights organization's fantastic health staffer, Suhair Abdi

Warmly, Gershom