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Israel detains man en route to hospital at Gaza crossing

12:00 Nov 30 2011 Erez crossing

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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a young man seeking medical treatment in Israel at the Erez crossing from Gaza, a prisoners organization said on Thursday.

Ahmad Khamis Alika was leaving for an urgent eye operation in an Israeli hospital when he was detained on Wednesday, the Hussam prisoners organization said.

Alika's father received a phone call from Israeli intelligence services notifying him of the detention, the group said.

An Israeli army spokesman said he could not confirm the detention.

The 25-year-old's parents called on human rights groups and the International Red Cross to intervene as their son is in poor health.

Patients in the blockaded Gaza Strip are regularly forced to seek treatment abroad or in Israel, requiring a lengthy process of applying for a permit from Israeli authorities. One in five medical referral permits were refused by Israel in 2010, the UN humanitarian office says.
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