Palestinians students sit next to a picture of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Al-Quds University in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, April 9, 2014.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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Since graduating from a local medical school nine years ago, Basel Nassar has been barred from serving his community in East Jerusalem, despite a shortage of doctors there.Like dozens of other Palestinian doctors, Nassar has been caught in the political battle between Israel and the Palestinians over East Jerusalem. Israel's policy of banning dozens of Jerusalem residents from working as doctors in the city is increasingly being criticized by Israelis, including leading physicians who say politics must not trump the right to health care.Earlier this month, an Israeli court overturned the Health Ministry's ban after Nassar and others sued, ostensibly clearing the way for him and 54 other doctors to apply for Israeli medical licenses. As a result, the Israel Health Ministry prevented the Al-Quds medical school graduates from taking the Israeli licensing exams that are open to graduates of foreign universities.In early April, Jerusalem's District Court ruled in favor of the Palestinian doctors – all residents of the city – and said the ministry must allow them to take the Israeli exams.
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