Adam Levick reports for UK Media Watch that a recent article in The Independent included a claim by a representative of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) that “Israel prevents Gazan doctors from traveling abroad for training and the blockade prevents essential medical equipment from reaching hospitals.”
First, there are almost no Israeli restrictions on essential medical equipment going to Gaza, except for dual-use items that include radioactive materials.
Concerning the claim that Gaza doctors are prevented from traveling abroad for training, a spokesperson from COGAT (the Israeli Defense Ministry unit which coordinates government activities in the territories) said: “The statement is not correct, the opposite is correct; through the Erez Crossing, doctors and medical teams enter Israel for professional training in Israel and abroad. In 2016 alone, 221 crossings of doctors were coordinated for professional training abroad, while an additional 43 crossings were coordinated in 2017. It is important to note that the list of doctors is determined by the Palestinian Authority.”