The Palestinian territories reported last week the first victim of Israel’s plan to annex a large swath of occupied West Bank territory – an eight-month old infant from the Gaza Strip.
According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI), Omar Yaghi, an infant with a cardiac condition, died on Thursday following a one-month postponement of his scheduled operation at Sheba Medical Center in Israel. The reason for the delay was the suspension of the activities of the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee (PCAC) – the body in charge of coordinating civil affairs with Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The civil coordination with Israel was going at full force for years until the latter, encouraged by the American administration of Donald Trump, has decided to annex the occupied Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and the areas of the West Bank where its illegal settlements are built, in total violation of the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In response to the annexation plan, the Palestinian Authority said last month that it will not be able anymore to keep quiet to Israel’s provocations and abandonment of the agreements and therefore decided on May 19 to end all ties and contacts with Israel, including all sorts of coordination, whether security or civilian.
Yaghi was supposed to leave Gaza for an operation in Sheba on May 24, said PHRI, but needed only an Israeli-army permit to leave Gaza and enter Israel for the operation, usually coordinated by PCAC.
However, with the PA’s cessation of coordination with Israel due to the annexation plan, no one was left to coordinate Yaghi and his accompanying family member’s crossing into Israel.
PHRI said it intervened in Yaghi’s case and resubmitted their application directly to the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO) without passing through PCAC. Sadly, Yaghi died before he got a chance to undergo the necessary operation.
It said it has warned that hundreds of Palestinian patients were being denied medical treatment due to the collapse of the coordination mechanisms – including patients with cancer and other severe conditions in urgent need of lifesaving treatments.