Harriet Sherwood neglects to mention one large Arab state bordering Gaza

In 2012, a year in which 2,327 rockets and 230 mortar shells were fired into Israel from Gaza, 16,553 Palestinians entered Israel from the Palestinian run territory to receive medical treatment in Israeli and PA hospitals.  Additionally, during 2012, the Israeli civil administration for the territories financed life-saving medical treatments for 20 Palestinian children (including marrow transplants and kidney transplants) worth more than 1,500,000 NIS ($405,000).

Harriet Sherwood’s latest piece, ‘British surgeons carry out first organ transplant in Gaza‘, about a volunteer medical team from Royal Liverpool hospital training Palestinian doctors in Gaza to perform transplants, completely ignored Israel’s continuing medical-related humanitarian assistance to citizens of the Hamas run territory, and, instead, focused on restrictions and alleged shortages in Gaza’s hospitals.  

Sherwood wrote the following:

“A team of British surgeons has carried out Gaza‘s first organ transplants as a pilot for a long-term plan to train local medical staff to perform the operations.

“I cannot express my happiness,” said Ziad Matouk, 42, who was born with one kidney and was diagnosed with renal failure several years ago. “I’m proud to have had one of the first transplant operations in Gaza. I want to hug and kiss all the doctors.”

Two patients underwent kidney transplants at the Shifa, Gaza’s biggest public hospital, which is beset by overcrowding, chronic power cuts and shortages of drugs and equipment. The operations were conducted a fortnight ago by a volunteer medical team from the Royal Liverpool hospital.

Matouk, whose wife donated one of her kidneys, hopes to return to his job as a falafel vendor in Maghazi refugee camp, central Gaza, within six months. The couple had sought a transplant in Cairo, but were rejected as unsuitable at a state hospital and could not afford the fee at a private hospital. “We were desperate,” said Matouk.

Then, there was this passage:

“Israel heavily restricted imports to Gaza between 2007 and 2010, and continues to control the flow of goods in and out of the Palestinian enclave.” [emphasis added]

Of course, contrary to the clear suggestion conveyed in that sentence, Gaza has a border which Israel does not control.

As we noted (and pointed out to Guardian editors) in 2011, about a story titled “10 highlights of Palestine, by Sarah Irving, which alleged that “Israeli border authorities…control all routes into the West Bank and Gaza”, Gaza borders Egypt, which has been in control of Gaza’s Rafah crossing since 2005.

We discovered Irving’s curious geographical error by use of our blog’s extremely expensive, highly sophisticated satellite technology (i.e., maps we found online), which showed the following:


So, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the Islamist Egyptian government bears some responsibility for medical aid and goods flowing into the Islamist governed Palestinian state on its border.

In 2011, it took Guardian editors nearly a month to correct Sarah Irving’s omission relating to Rafah, upon which they added the following text:

This article was amended on 15 December 2011. The original said the Israeli border authorities controlled all routes into the West Bank and Gaza. This has been corrected.

We look forward to observing how long it takes them to correct Harriet Sherwood’s latest error about Gaza’s southern border.

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