Mohammed Odma Dies Enroute to Qalqilya Hospital. Permits in Azzun Attmeh.
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Mohammed Odma Dies Enroute to Qalqilya Hospital. Permits in Azzun Attmeh.

On March 28th Mohammad Omda, 60 years old from Habla, died after suffering a heart attack. His family attempted to rush him to the hospital in Qalqiliya, but they were forced to pass through Azzun first to meet an ambulance. The Wall completely surrounds Habla, isolating it from Qalqilya, a distance of no more than 3 km, 10 minutes drive away. The distance to Qalqilya through Azzun is 35 km, over extremely rough rural roads, and usually takes more than an hour. Omda died before his family even reached the ambulance.

In Azzun Attmeh, isolated completely from the rest of the Qalqiliya district by the Wall, the people are demanding permits to remain in the village and to be able to move in and out of the village at will, as it is located in an area the Occupation forces declared a closed military area last October. Villagers without the proper permits and identification are effectively imprisoned within their village, and run the risk of expulsion; ie they never leave the village for fear of not being let back in. Last month two school teachers who live and work in Azzun Attmeh were not able to reach the hospital in Qalqiliya after suffering from bad toothaches. After some time a doctor was allowed into the village to treat them, after passing through the local checkpoint in an ambulance.

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