Israel accused of ‘cruel and inhuman’ border crossing conditions for Palestinians by NGO

Israeli Embassy says heightened border security 'not an Israeli phenomenon', pointing to impact of terrorism

Peter Yeung
Monday 27 June 2016 21:15
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B'Tselem posted an image onto its Facebook account purporting to show a checkpoint in the West Bank
B'Tselem posted an image onto its Facebook account purporting to show a checkpoint in the West Bank

A human rights NGO has accused Israel of forcing Palestinians to withstand “cruel and inhuman” conditions at its borders.

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, also known as B'Tselem, said even those with legitimate work permits were being made to wait for hours in extremely hot weather.

B'Tselem posted an image onto its Facebook account and said in a statement: “The Palestinians photographed waiting in line have permits that allow them to work in Israel. Such permits are issued only after meticulous security screening.

“Making people wait in line for hours, in unbearable conditions, highlights the cruel and inhuman aspects of military control over a civilian population.

“The occupation has now entered its 50th year. This glaring injustice has gone on for nearly a half century, aided by ignorance and indifference.”

The image purports to show a checkpoint in the West Bank, between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, in the early hours of the morning. It appears to show a crowd of people tightly packed along a fenced pathway, with some finding respite high along the walls.

Text accompanying the photo reads: “This is what the daily grind of the ‪#‎occupation‬ looks like: It doesn’t necessarily mean the use of weapons or brutality. Just callous and cruel humiliation. For no reason, just because it can be done.”

A spokesperson for the Embassy of Israel in London told The Independent: “People waiting at checkpoints and security screenings are not an Israeli phenomenon.

“They're a response to brutal terrorism against civilian populations, common in every airport and border crossing in the world today.”

Earlier this year, Israeli agriculture minister Uri Ariele said conditions suffered by Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank are “shameful and a disgrace to the State of Israel and to the security establishment".

Mr Ariele told Tel Aviv Radio: “Go and see how they stand and wait to enter Israel at the checkpoints. It’s shameful and a disgrace to the State of Israel and to the security establishment. People stand there in terrible conditions: in the summer heat, in the winter rains.”

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