Palestinians inspect the scene of what witnesses said was hit by an Israeli airstrike at Nusseirat in the centre of the Gaza Strip February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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The Israeli authorities have blocked 70 patients from Gaza from entering Israel to receive medical treatment because their transfer documents were marked "State of Palestine," officials said Wednesday.A senior official from the Ramallah-based Health Ministry, who is in charge of external treatment requests, said it was the first time since mid-December that patients had been refused a permit on the basis of the logo on the medical transfer request.The official added that all of the transfer requests had been marked with the "State of Palestine" logo.Gaza is ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement, which has no official contact with Israel, so all requests must be processed through officials from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, some of whom are stationed in the coastal enclave.
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