Israel is denying a Palestinian volleyball player from Gaza seeking medical attention for a torn ligament in his knee entry into the country due to security concerns.
Daoud Abu Hazima was given the opportunity to play for the Palestinian national team, however in 2014, he injured his knee and hasn’t been able to play volleyball since.
The issue for Hazima is that there are no doctors within the entire Gaza Strip with the knowledge on how to perform the surgery that he needs in order to return to proper playing health. Due to the lack of resources in the Gaza Strip, according to Hazima he received referral from the Palestinian Health Ministry in 2016 to attend Makassad Hospital in East Jerusalem.
Israel‘s security service however denied Hazima entry into the country.
The Shin Bet (Israeli security) said, “Abu Hazima entered Israel from the Gaza Strip a number of times in 2015, and in 2016 his entry to Israel was denied for security reasons. In the framework of an examination of his case, it was decided that in order to make an updated decision, he would have to be questioned. Based on the findings of this questioning, a decision will be made on his entry into Israel.”
Israeli authorities are in control as to whether or not people living in the Gaza Strip can enter the country for medical treatment. The nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights approached Israeli authorities regarding Abu Hazima’s claims, but they were told that since his condition is not life-threatening, medical treatment was not urgent.
While Israel is saying that Abu Hazima is a security threat, he claims that he has no security record.
According to Hazima, his condition is worsening and he’s fearing that if he does not get medical treatment soon, he will not be able to play volleyball for the national team again.
“Sports is the only light in my life,” said Hazima. “All I ask is the basic right to receive medical care and not to extinguish that light.”