The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns that Israeli forces stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing continued to apply the policy of arresting patients and their companions when traveling for treatment in the Israeli or Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
The latest was arrest of a patient’s companion from the Gaza Strip yesterday after summoning him for a security interview with the Israeli authorities in Beit Hanoun Crossing.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 18 March 2018, the Israeli forces stationed in Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip arrested Eyad ‘Omer Ibrahim Ba’loushah (42) from Al-Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza City after the Israeli authorities summoned him for a security interview in Beit Hanoun Crossing. Ba’loushah was summoned for the interview after he applied for a permit to cross the Beit Hanoun Crossing as a companion for his father, who is a cancer patient referred for treatment in Hadasa ‘Ein Karem Hospital in Israel.
Rami ‘Omer Ibrahim Ba’loushah (44), brother of the arrested civilian, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“On Sunday, 18 March 2018, my brother, Eyad ‘Omer Ibrahim Ba’loushah (42) headed for a security interview in Beit Hanoun Crossing after the Medical Coordination Department informed him via a text message sent to his cell phone on Thursday, 15 March 2018, that the Israeli authorities asked him for the interview. The request for the interview came to examine the possibility of giving him a permit to travel via Beit Hanoun Crossing in order to accompany my father, ‘Omer Ibrahim Ba’loushah (68), who suffers from throat cancer and was referred for treatment in Hadasa ‘Ein Karem Hospital two weeks ago. After waiting for my brother to come back from the crossing for hours, we tried to call him but his cellphone was off. At approximately 20:30 on the same day, the General Authority of Civil Affairs (GACA) in Gaza City called to inform us that my brother Eyad was arrested by the Israeli intelligence and taken to an investigation center in Israel without clarifying the reasons behind his arrest.”
Previously, on Thursday, 15 March 2018, the Israeli forces stationed in Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip arrested Na’im Mohammed Hussein Kotkot (44) from Jabalia refugee camp after the Israeli authorities summoned him for a security interview in Beit Hanoun Crossing. Kotkot was summoned for the interview after he applied for a permit to cross the Beit Hanoun Crossing as a companion for his son, who is a patient suffering blood disorders and was referred for treatment in Augusta Victoria Hospital “al-Motale’a” in occupied Jerusalem.
PCHR reiterates its strong condemnation of the Israeli policy to arrest patients and their companions at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing and calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as the international organizations, particularly the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to practice pressure immediately on the Israeli authorities to stop this inhuman and unjustifiable policy.
PCHR also calls for serious action to facilitate the movement and travel of patients from the Gaza Strip to the hospitals in Israel or the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem especially that continuing to apply this policy endangers the life of hundreds of patients in the Gaza Strip and deprives them of receiving the proper medical treatment for their serious diseases that cannot be remedied in the Gaza Strip hospitals.