Gaza, Alray - Israel exploits the need of patients to travel and uses the crossings as a trap, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported.
It noted that the Israeli military forces escalated its measures against Palestinian patients and their escorts who travel through Erez Crossing.
According to the monitoring and documenting unit at Al Mezan, Israeli Military forces have arrested more than 13 Palestinians at Erez crossing since the beginning of 2013. Of the 13, two were patients and four were patient escorts. There were also two businessmen among the arrested.
The Israeli authorities continue to exploit the Palestinian need to travel, using crossings as snares. The crossing allows for little dignity in the process of traveling to Israel which compounds the already very present threat of arrest and pressure to collaborate.
Mohammed Al Bakri, 24, was detained on last Sunday at Erez Crossing on his way to receive medical treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem accompanied with his mother. He was interviewed by Israel Security Agency and ordered his mother to leave.
Al Mezan Center lawyer reported that Israeli court extended his detention to September 16, 2013 and he is held now at Ashkelon prison.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns and is deeply concerned about the ongoing arrests of medical patients, their escorts in addition to internationals using this crossing. Al Mezan views this as a continuation of Israel’s blackmail policy of Palestinian patients to exploit their suffering and need for treatment in order to turn them into collaborators. This, Al Mezan stresses, constitutes a grave violation of the rules under International Humanitarian Law, namely the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to promptly and effectively intervene in any way in order to stop Israel’s ongoing and systematic violations and ensure safe access to hospitals and medical treatment for Palestinian patients and other residents in the Gaza Strip.