The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the arrest of a civilian from the Gaza Strip by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing. The civilian was traveling to Tel HaShomer Hospital as he is scheduled for a bone marrow donation for his ill brother, who is currently at the hospital.
According to PCHR’s investigations, on Monday, 06 July 2020, Israeli authorities arrested ‘Abdullah Shaker Mohammed al-Daghmah (38) from Rafah, while traveling to Tel HaShomer Hospital for a bone marrow donation for his brother Hani Shaker al-Daghmah (44). Hani suffers from Leukemia and has been in the hospital for a long period and his health condition is extremely critical.
Al-Daghma’s family told PCHR’s fieldworker that after all family members did the necessary medical examinations, Abdullah’s results were the only ones that matched his brother.
Accordingly, necessary procedures were conducted for his travel along with his sister. When they arrived at the Israeli side at Erez Crossing, ‘Abdullah was arrested while his sister was sent back to the Gaza Strip and quarantined according to the measures applied in the Gaza Strip.
It should be noted that PCHR’s lawyer, in his capacity as a legal representative of al-Daghmah, follows up with the Israeli authorities to determine ‘Abdullah’s place of detention and to visit him as soon as possible.
PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued use of Erez Crossing as a trap to arrest civilians leaving the Gaza Strip for treatment and other humanitarians reasons, which further aggravates the implications of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and the suffering of its civilian population, especially patients whose treatment is not available at Gaza hospitals.
It is worth noting that the arrest of civilians, including patients or companions, is not a precedent, as IOF use Beit Hanoun crossing, the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip population to the West Bank and Israel, to blackmail Palestinian patients and individuals in exchange of exit permits.
In light of the above, PCHR:
- Strongly condemns arresting Palestinian patients or their companies by IOF while traveling for medical treatment and demands their immediate release and guarantees that their lives will not be at risk;
- Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their
obligations and responsibilities by taking immediate action to put an end to violations of the international humanitarian law perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians;
- Stresses the seriousness of targeting and blackmailing patients and taking advantage of their need to receive medical treatment at hospitals in Israel or the West Bank; and
- Demands guarantees of the freedom of movement and travel for Palestinian civilians from and to the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893