Gazans denied entry to Israel for medical care over letterhead

JERUSALEM (JTA) —  Dozens of Palestinians from Gaza seeking to enter Israel for medical treatment were denied entry because their application letterhead read “State of Palestine.”

The requests for about 70 permits were denied on Wednesday at the Erez crossing due to the new letterhead, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, and international news agencies.

According to Ma’an, patients who present applications with the “State of Palestine” written on them will be denied entry to Israel and the West Bank.

Documents previously were filed on letterhead that read “Palestinian Authority,” according to Reuters. The letterhead reportedly was changed in mid-December.

“Upon receiving the documents stamped ‘State of Palestine’, it was decided to return them to the DCO (Gaza District Coordinating Office) without considering them and demand they be refiled in the accepted way,” Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said in a statement sent to the French news agency AFP.

More than 130 countries currently recognize Palestine as a state.