Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 16:46 UK

Hamas minister's sick daughter allowed out of Gaza

Palestinians near the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, file pic from 2007
Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since Hamas took control in 2007

The Israeli authorities have allowed the daughter of a senior Hamas official to leave the blockaded Gaza Strip for urgent medical treatment in Jordan.

The daughter of Interior Minister Fathi Hamad was flown there from an Israeli hospital where she had been taken.

Jordan's King Abdullah II had personally appealed for her to be allowed to leave Gaza, officials said.

Israel imposed a blockade on the coastal enclave when it came under control of the Islamist Hamas in 2007.

Its 1.5m inhabitants are rarely allowed to leave.

The daughter's health had improved significantly since she was admitted to hospital in Jordan on Saturday, her doctor was quoted as telling Jordan's Petra news agency.

"She should be able to leave the hospital in 48 hours," the doctor, Hussein Shaalan, was quoted as saying.

The UN and a number of international humanitarian groups warned in January that the blockade was putting residents' health at risk.

Israel and Egypt deny entry to all but basic humanitarian supplies, in order to prevent Gaza's Hamas rulers firing rockets at Israel, they say.

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