Refused Entry to the West Bank, Gaza Doctor Loses Internship

Despite having a permit to travel to Nablus, physician was sent back to Gaza by Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint.

The Erez border crossing between Israel and northern Gaza Strip

A Gaza physician has lost his internship at a Nablus hospital because security personnel at the Erez checkpoint would not let him leave Gaza for the West Bank, even though he had a permit to do so and no history of security offenses.
Dr. Alaa Rustom completed his medical studies in 2014. In February 2016 Rustom went to Ramallah with Israeli permission to apply for an internship in the West Bank. He passed the tests and in March he was accepted for an internship at A-Najah Hospital in Nablus. Rustom then applied to the Israeli authorities again to request an exit permit from Gaza to Nablus.
“I asked for a permit several times and was rejected. Finally I succeeded in getting the permit in June,” Rustom wrote to Haaretz from Gaza. But, he says, “When I got to the Erez Crossing, the security forces detained me there for several hours, and then told me I’d have to back to my home in Gaza, without any logical reason.” In his email to Haaretz Rustom attached the permit issued by the State of Israel that allows him to enter Israeli territory to cross to the West Bank.
According to Rustom, when the security forces forbade him entry, he lost his internship. “I lost the opportunity to do an internship at A-Najah for no rational reason. I am not politically active and have no ties with problematic people. I’m a doctor who just wants to do an internship and broaden my scientific abilities.”
The District Coordinating Office for Gaza said Rustom was banned from Israel at the request of the Shin Bet security service, which had marked him as a security risk. But the Shin Bet denied this, saying Rustom had been questioned and approved from a security perspective, and there was no reason not to let him cross to Nablus through Israel.
Security personnel say that Rustom was questioned at the Erez checkpoint on June 14 and after a security check that took a few days, he was found to have a clean record. But apparently no one informed him of this. The Civil Administration said it had updated the Nablus hospital about the developments and it was the hospital that should have been in touch with Rustom.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that on June 14, Rustom tried to cross at the Erez crossing point and for security reasons it was decided to delay his entry until all the relevant information was examined. “Two weeks afterward his exit was approved, and the officials on the Palestinian side were updated accordingly,” the statement said. “Since then there has been no renewal of the request.”
(Source / 08.08.2016)

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The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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