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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Gaza suffocation puts medics on hunger strike

Nine medics seeking entry into the Gaza Strip on a humanitarian mission have gone on a hunger strike after being denied entry into the blockaded ghetto.

Three of the medical doctors, all British nationals say they have been denied access to the Palestinian territory at the Rafah crossing since the beginning of May.

They aimed at establishing a cardiac surgery unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which currently lacks such a facility, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The group also seeks to "train medical students and junior doctors there", the report adds.

One of the medics identified as Omar Mangoush, a cardiac surgeon at Hammersmith hospital in London, told the British newspaper that the group had arrived at the crossing in Egypt on May 4 only to be told they did not have permission to enter.

"We are on hunger strike until they let us through," he said.