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Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Jul 02, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Published July 2, 2010

Executive summary

When The Lancet published its Series on Health in the occupied Palestinian territory in March, 2009, we pledged to return to the issues raised in the series in subsequent years. On March 1-2 this year, we took part in a research conference on Palestinian health that was held at Birzeit University in the West Bank. Billed as the 2nd Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance Conference, our goal was to nurture and encourage a network of local and international scientists to do work that would advance the health of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, as well as the wider Palestinian diaspora. The best peer-reviewed abstracts of that meeting are today published online. We also publish 3 Comments, to set the context for that meeting and to describe the current status of the Palestinian health predicament.

The abstracts provide a window into life as it is in the occupied territory. We plan to track what we hope will be progress in coming years with annual research-based meetings of the Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance.

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Women's Boat to Gaza Captured

Zaytouna-Oliva Women Deported
Details Emerge about the Capture

Messina, Italy:  All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod. Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”

According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The IDF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IDF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat. This happened in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. 

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