Israeli soldiers stationed at Beit Iksa military roadblock, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, kidnapped Saturday a bus driver transporting elderly Palestinians, after refusing to force them out of his bus to be inspected by the army.

The head of Beit Iksa village council, north of occupied East Jerusalem, Sa’ada Khatib, stated that the soldiers stopped the bus while transporting elderly Palestinians, and ordered the driver to force the seniors out of his vehicle, to be searched and inspected, but he refused.

Khatib stated that the driver did not want to inflict any suffering on the elders by ordering them out of the bus, then back in, and challenged the soldiers who demanded such an act.

He called on international human rights groups to monitor the Israeli military roadblocks, to document these ongoing violations, and to work on ending them, adding that Beit Iksa has been subject to frequent invasions and violations, in addition to severe restrictions at its roadblock.

“This is completely illegal and inhumane,” Khatib said, “It is unacceptable that a bunch of young soldiers continue to punish an entire village, and deny the Palestinians their basic right of the freedom of movement.”  

It is worth mentioning that Israel completed the isolation of Beit Iksa in 2006, after the Annexation Wall fully encircled it, making residents unable to enter or leave it without crossing through the roadblock.