Blind man arrested at Beit Hanoun crossing (report)

It was the wish of the blind man Ahmed Abed Rabbo, 31, to pass Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, to get to a hospital in the West Bank for corneal transplant in one of his eyes so that he can see again.

He did not know that he would be arrested by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), which controls the crossing, to add to the darkness of his eyes, the darkness of the Israeli prisons.

Abed Rabbo is one of dozens of travelers who are arrested by occupation forces while passing Beit Hanoun crossing despite obtaining necessary permits for passing it. The IOF also extort them, turning the only exit of the Gaza Strip to a real “trap” for Gazans, as described by Palestinian human rights organizations.

Beginning of the suffering
The story of Abed Rabbo’s disease started years ago, when he suffered a significant decline in his sight causing him to see only a little. He visited doctors in Gaza and conducting the necessary tests. The results showed that he suffers from acute loss of vision.

Abed Rabbo, who lives in the town of Jabaliya in the northern of Gaza Strip, had been given official permit from the Ministry of Health in order to go for treatment in a hospital in the city of Ramallah for cornea transplantation in one of his eyes.

When Abed Rabbo was travelling through Beit Hanoun crossing on Sunday (15 | 11) he was arrested by Israeli troops positioned at the crossing, according to Mariam, his sister, who accompanied him.

Mariam told Quds Press: “I was astonished when the Israeli soldiers forced my blind brother to enter the interrogation room after they beat him, then they told me to leave the crossing and return to Gaza as they had detained my brother”.

She added: “My brother is married and has three children; he has got all the necessary documents in order to pass the Beit Hanoun crossing in order to undergo the necessary operation for his eye”.

She continued, “I do not know why the occupation forces arrested him in spite of his condition and his inability to manage his needs on his own, as well as the necessary operation to return his sight; as he can see things within four meters only”.

Inhuman extortion
For his part, the MP Ismail al-Ashqar, head of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s Interior and Security Committee, accused the Israeli occupation authorities of exploiting the needs of the Palestinian people, whether economic, humanitarian or medical through inhumane extortion to pass through Beit Hanoun crossing.

Ashqar said, “This is what we have been experiencing at the hands of the Israeli occupation since 1948, as it tries to take advantage of the needs of the Palestinian people, and take advantage of their weakness. This enemy is immoral and criminal, our people know that and know that it is trying to exploit and extort them”.

The Israeli occupation also tries to obtain information from the travelers through Beit Hanoun crossing, in exchange for allowing them to travel, Ashqar said.

He explained that after the Israeli occupation withdrew from the Gaza Strip, it was facing difficulties in communicating with its agents inside Gaza, therefore, it took advantage of any opportunity, whether patients, traders or students travelling through Beit Hanoun crossing to update its information and gather data about the Palestinian resistance, its figures and their places of residence so that it can target them.

50 detainees since the beginning of the year
For his part, Abdel Nasser Farwana, the director of the bureau of statistics in the detainees and ex-detainees’ affairs authority, said that the number of citizens who have been arrested at the Beit Hanoun crossing since the beginning of this year has reached about fifty citizens.

Farwana explained that most of the detainees arrested on the crossing are traders, including 14 merchants arrested on the first month of this year. Among the detainees also were patients and people who accompany them, students, a teacher who was on his way to an interview for a job in Qatar, and a woman.

He revealed that the month of September witnessed the biggest number of arrests; during which 18 citizens all of which had had pass permits issued by the Israeli intelligence.

He pointed to the fact that all detainees are subject to extortion and some of them were slapped with indictment.

Farwana warned anyone who is involved with the resistance and its factions from travelling through Beit Hanoun crossing.

He said that the IOA often deliberately do not disclose some names mentioned in past indictments in order to lure them to the Beit Hanoun crossing to get arrested, and it has succeeded in that before.

Farwana advised all resistance cadres, whether his name was mentioned or not during interrogations with the IOA, or anyone having connections with the resistance to avoid the Israeli occupation barriers and crossings so as not to be arrested.

(Source / 18.11.2015)

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