Israel Lets Gaza Physician Move to West Bank for Residency After Haaretz Intervenes

Shin Bet cited ‘security reasons’ in rejecting Mai Akila’s relocation request, but withdrew its refusal a day after Haaretz questioned the decision.

The main entrance to An-Najah National University, in Nablus, the West Bank, in 2011.

A young physician from the Gaza Strip is set to begin her residency at a West Bank hospital, after Israel’s Shin Bet security service reversed its refusal in the wake of an inquiry from Haaretz.

In October, after being accepted to a residency program at An-Najah National University Hospital, in Nablus, Dr. Mai Akila requested permission from Israel to leave the Gaza Strip and cross from Israel into the West Bank. The Shin Bet rejected her application, citing “security reasons.”

But on Monday, a day after Haaretz questioned the agency’s decision, the Shin Bet said that after reexamining the case, Akila would be permitted to make the move.

The hospital has confirmed that Akila is expected to arrive shortly and to begin her residency.

Akila’s case is similar to that of Alaa Rustom, also a young physician from the Gaza Strip who was accepted for a residency at An-Najah but prohibited from transiting through Israel by the Shin Bet.