These Shall Serve These: Israeli Court Tells Health Officials To Stop Playing Politics and Let Palestinian Doctors Be Doctors

Abby Zimet

After a five-year fight during which Israeli officials essentially held hostage at least 55 badly-needed Palestinian doctors in the name of politics - refusing to recognize the well-respected Al-Quds University medical school where they trained as either Israeli or foreign - a judge has ordered the Israeli Health Ministry to allow the doctors to practise in East Jerusalem and stop "harming public health." This, despite a severe shortage of doctors in East Jerusalem, and the fact that alumni of the medical school in Abu Dis, the first established in the Palestinian territories, have excelled when they took medical examinations elsewhere, including in western Europe and the U.S. In its brochure, Al Quds describes itself as "an embodiment of Palestinian perseverance in Jerusalem." Israeli officials, still unclear if they'd rather play yet more pointless, possibly deadly politics or take care of sick people, have not yet decided if they will appeal the ruling.

"Eventually it's a simple equation. People in need. Good physicians and qualified physicians. These shall serve these." - Dr. Basel Nassar

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