Hebron: Ambulance Detained



On October 30, a Red Crescent Society ambulance, escorted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was transporting Palestinian Hana Abu Haikel from a Jerusalem hospital, where she had undergone multiple surgeries, to her home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron. The Israeli military detained the ambulance at the Beit Romano checkpoint in Hebron for two hours before allowing it through to the Abu Haikel’s house.

Tel Rumeida is located in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron,* and is the site of one of the four Israeli settlement enclaves in the city. Palestinian vehicles need special permission to enter H2. The ICRC often coordinates ambulance travel into the area with the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli military stopped the ambulance at 1:00pm. CPTers on street patrol saw the waiting ambulance and documented the situation. For an hour, the ambulance crew unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate passage through the checkpoint. At that point they had to take Hana to a nearby hospital because the delay precipitated a need for urgent medical care.

Negotiations continued with the Israeli military until shortly after 3:00pm when soldiers finally allowed the ambulance and the ICRC vehicle through. The Israeli Border Police then escorted the medical vehicles to the Abu Haikel’s home.

* In 1997, the city of Hebron was divided into two areas: H1, which is under Palestinian control and H2, which is under Israeli military control.