Even the dead cannot cross through this gate installed in the
Annexation Wall section leading to Barta'a village, south-west of Jenin
in the northern part of the West Bank. As residents were attempting to
move the body of a dead relative back to the village, soldiers
stationed at a gate of the Wall delayed their entry to their own
village for three hours.
The Maan News Agency reported that soldiers stopped a convoy of Palestinian cars carrying a body of a dead resident from the Jenin hospital back to his hometown for burial, and delayed the convoy for three hours without any apparent reason.
The residents were transferring the body of Abdul-Hafeeth Qabha, 50, who died at a Jenin hospital, in order to prepare for the burial ceremony and mourning house.
Tawfiq Qabha, member of Barta'a Al Sharqiyya village council, said that fifty relatives of Qabha were accompanying his body back to the village when the soldiers stopped them and delayed their entry to the village for three hours.
In spite of the rain and cold weather, soldiers insisted that the body would have to wait at the gate until further notice while some 500 residents gathered on the village side of the gate waiting for the body to be allowed in before they can start the mourning and burial ceremonies.
The soldiers also threatened to use violence against the residents if they do not leave the area, local sources reported.
Three hours later, as midnight approached on Friday, the body and the residents wee allowed into the village and were able to conduct the burial and prayer ceremonies 90 minutes after midnight.
Qabha appealed the international community and human rights organizations to practice pressures on Israel to stop its illegal practices and humiliation of the residents, especially the body searches that the soldiers force the residents to go through and the extended hours of waiting to be allowed out or into the village.
He added that the Wall and its gate are in many cases barring the entry of food and medications into the village.