Tony Greenstein | 28 January 2012 | Post Views:

There doesn’t seem to be any depths to which ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ can sink. This includes arresting a patient, en route to a hospital for surgery. No doubt this is the ‘civilisation’ that Ehud Barak spoke of when he spoke of the ‘villa in the jungle’

Tony Greenstein

IOF Arrest Patient at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in the Northern Gaza Strip

Ref: 10/2012Date: 23 January 2012Time: 11:00
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns arresting a Palestinian patient from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing. The patient was heading to a hospital in the West Bank for medical treatment. PCHR is concerned that he may be subjected to torture, especially as he was supposed to undergo a surgery.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, IOF arrested Bassam Sha’ban Fu’ad Raihan, 24, from Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on 19 January 2012, as he was traveling to al-Mezan Hospital in Hebron through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to undergo surgery. In her testimony to PCHR, the patient’s aunt and companion, Na’ima Fu’ad Sha’ban Raihan, 49, said that the Israeli officer at Beit Hanoun crossing informed her that Bassam was arrested, gave her Bassam’s belongings and ordered her to return to Gaza. Sha’ban Fo’ad Raihan, 50, the patient’s father, said that he received a phone call from IOF informing him that his son is detained in Ashkelon prison. The patient has been detained so far.

PCHR believes that the policy adopted by IOF to arrest patients is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Furthermore, it is a form of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, especially as it is part of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip that aggravates the suffering of patients whose treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip hospitals.

It should be noted that IOF positioned at Beit Hanoun crossing arrested two patients from the Gaza Strip while they on their way to West Bank hospitals for medical treatment in November 2011.

In light of the above, PCHR:

1. Strongly condemns the continued arrests of Palestinian patients by IOF in their medical treatment journeys. PCHR calls for the immediate release of all patient prisoners and to ensure not to endanger their lives. Besides, it holds IOF responsible for any deterioration of their health conditions while in detention;
2. Stresses that targeting patients, exploiting their need for medical treatment at hospitals in Israel or the West Bank and blackmailing them constitute serious illegal actions;
3. Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their obligations and stop violations of international law committed by IOF against the Palestinian civilians.

For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: [email protected], Webpage

Israel Arrests Palestinian Patient

The Israeli regime continues to impose punishing pressures on Palestinian residents in the besieged Gaza Strip, arresting a patient seeking to leave the enclave for medical treatment.
Aed Zeyadeh was arrested last week by Israeli authorities as he was about to depart Gaza for treatment, a Press TV correspondent reported on Monday.
“My children and I were totally dependent on my husband and all of a sudden he is not here, and now we have to wait five years to see him again,” said Zeyadeh’s wife.
The health ministry of the Palestinian movement of Hamas has condemned the arrest and indictment of Zeyadeh.
Yousef Modallal of the Hamas health ministry said the detention of Zeyadeh proves Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinians at crossings and checkpoints.
“Zeyadeh wanted to receive treatment in the West Bank but was arrested even after being granted an exit permit by the Israeli security agency. This shows that the permit was nothing but a bait to lure him into prison,” Modallal added.
There has been a climb in the number of Palestinian patients arrested by Israeli forces at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza in recent months, according to the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO).
“Not only our patients are humiliated at the Erez crossing, but they are also being arrested now and then. The number of arrests continues to increase. We call on the international community to step in and put an end to sufferings of people in Gaza,” said Amjad al-Shawwa of PNGO.
The Israeli regime laid an economic siege on the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after the democratically-elected Hamas lawmakers took over the administration of the enclave.
The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished territory.
The Tel Aviv regime denies some 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

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