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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
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Posts Tagged ‘erez crossing’

Israeli, 37, First Casualty of Operation Protective Edge

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The first person to die in Operation Protective Edge was a civilian, not a soldier, and gave up his life to distribute food to those fighting for others.

The family has asked that his name not be released, even though it was already widely publicized.

The man, a 37-year-old resident of Beit Aryeh, and was handing out food to soldiers at an IDF base near the Erez crossing with Gaza when Hamas terrorists launched a mortar attack.

The man, who has also volunteered for Chabad in his community, was caught in the shelling and didn’t make it to shelter in time. His body was riddled with shrapnel; he was pronounced dead at Barzilai Hospital in nearby Ashkelon.

A second man, age 44, was also wounded in the attack. He too was distributing food at the time but had not yet left the car when the shelling began. Hospital officials told an interviewer on Israeli Army Radio that he suffered shrapnel wounds to the face but was listed in good condition.

More than 100 rockets, missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israel from Gaza by 9pm on Tuesday alone. At least four exploded in residential areas and 10 others were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

No Trip to Brazil for Gaza Official

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Israel has blocked a Palestinian Authority official from traveling from Gaza to Brazil, allegedly to attend the World Cup.

A report released to international wire services, the Palestinian Football Association said its deputy general-secretary Mohammad Ammassi was not allowed to travel from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, and then from there to Jordan, where he would allegedly continue on to Brazil.

In its statement, however, the PFA admitted, “This is not the first time Mr. Amassi has been denied a travel permit.” There was no explanation as to why Amassi has been denied travel permits in the past. The PA claimed “Israeli authorities have nothing against him,” and complained that the rejection was “a temperamental and arbitrary measure.”

Palestinian Authority Arabs have traveled daily in and out of Gaza via the Erez Crossing for medical and humanitarian reasons, and in and out of Judea and Samaria for business and similar employment reasons for years.

It is not known, however, whether or not the rejection was part of Israeli sanctions imposed in response to the Ramallah-based PA’s reconciliation with Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers, which resulted in the new PA unity government. What is known is that numerous Arab terrorist organizations have threatened to attack Israeli targets abroad.

IDF Helps Palestinians Cross into Israel from Gaza

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Major Tariq is a senior commander at the Erez Crossing where he helps thousands of Palestinians cross from Gaza into Israel every month.

Major Tariq, a senior commander in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), works in one of Israel’s most sensitive areas. Stationed at the Erez Crossing – just steps away from Gaza – he and his soldiers face the constant threat of attacks from Hamas terrorists. Since 2005, Hamas has launched 8,000 rockets from Gaza at populated areas in Israel’s southern region.

Despite the danger, Maj. Tariq works every day to help Palestinians cross into Israel from Gaza. As a result of his cooperation with the Palestinian Authority – which also works with a division of COGAT in Judea and Samaria  –  about 400 Gazans travel into Israel each day through the Erez crossing.

“The majority of requests are related to health problems,” Maj. Tariq said of civilians traveling through the crossing. Several times each day, Maj. Tariq and his staff direct the Palestinians to Israeli hospitals that can treat their conditions. IDF officials estimate that some 100 Palestinians seeking medical care travel into Israel each day.

Although Palestinians can receive medical treatment in Gaza, many turn to Israeli hospitals for more advanced care.  “It is important to note that there are 27 hospitals in Gaza. Gaza’s population has the ability to receive medical care on site,” Maj. Tariq explained, adding that Israeli hospitals can handle complex health problems that Gazan hospitals are incapable of treating.

Photo credit: IDF

Photo credit: IDF

“When a child is sick, injured and needs prompt treatment, we take all precautions and measures so that the child can pass through the crossing as quickly as possible,” Maj. Tariq said, explaining that all Gazans in urgent need of medical care receive the highest-priority treatment at the crossing. “IDF soldiers ensure that an ambulance arrives and brings the patients to a nearby Israeli hospital, where they receive necessary medical care,” Maj. Tariq added.

Many other Gazans cross into Israel to visit relatives living in Judea and Samaria. Each month, IDF officials help more than 3,000 Palestinians pass through the crossing to visit their families. This month, as Palestinian Muslims observe the holiday of Ramadan, higher numbers of travelers are visiting Israel to celebrate the holiday with family members.

Palestinians cross into Israel for Ramadan. Photo credit: IDF

Palestinians cross into Israel for Ramadan. Photo credit: IDF


Speaking Their Language

Maj. Tariq, who comes from a Druze community in Israel’s north, grew up speaking Arabic like many other members of his unit. His fluency allows for a direct line of communication between the IDF and Palestinian travelers. According to Maj. Tariq, he often speaks directly with Gaza residents to understand their needs on an individual level.

Maj. Tariq is responsible for facilitating all passages through the Erez Crossing. Photo credit: IDF

Maj. Tariq is responsible for facilitating all passages through the Erez Crossing. Photo credit: IDF

Native speakers of Arabic like Maj. Tariq are not the only soldiers who can speak with the travelers in their native language. The unit requires all of its members – from new recruits to commanders – to complete a course in Arabic. This policy ensures that all of the unit’s soldiers are prepared to communicate with Gazans directly to discuss their specific requests.
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