HALAWEH | MASAFER YATTA | HEBRON
In December 2016, the Israeli authorities seized a donated caravan, serving as a primary health centre, in the Al Mirkez community in the Masafer Yatta (Hebron), on the grounds of lack of a building permit.
The designation of this area as a firing zone for Israeli military training makes it very difficult for the residents of the 12 herding communities (1,300 people) located within it to access basic services, including healthcare.
When OCHA visited the al Mirkez community on 11 January 2017, the day the medical team provides its weekly visit, the room serving as a substitute clinic was packed with about 15 women and children seeking treatment.
Two women who were waiting in the room with four children, including a 7-month-old baby, were from the neighbouring community of Halaweh.
The women and their children, accompanied by their father-in-law, had had to walk for more than one hour to reach the clinic.
Amal, a mother of two, was diagnosed two years ago with systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic auto-immune disease with symptoms that include swelling and damage to the joints, blood, kidneys, heart and lungs.
❝The journey was tiring for me and the children. We had to stop and rest on the way. Getting here is not easy for us,❞ said Amal.
❝I wish we could have access to healthcare more than once a week and have it available also in Halaweh.❞
❝On rainy days the road takes more than two hours; sometimes we simply don’t come,❞ said Jameel, Amal’s father-in-law.
❝We don’t have a car and the clinic is far away. Amal has multiple illnesses: kidney problems and low platelet count, and needs her medication regularly.❞