Report: Gaza crossing a hotspot for extorting Palestinians

| War crimes

At least 33 Palestinian citizens, including four patients, have been kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the Erez border crossing, in northern Gaza Strip, since the start of 2015, the Mezan Center for Human Rights reported Tuesday.

The Mezan rights group said in a press release the Israeli occupation army has made use of its control over the Erez border crossing to tighten its grip around Palestinians’ necks, and to coerce Palestinians into collaboration in return for medical treatment or passage.

The group reported 33 cases of arbitrary abduction, including 24 merchants, four patients and a woman.

Over recent months, the Israeli occupation has stepped up arbitrary arrests of Palestinian merchants and patients, along with several other humanitarian cases, most of whom have been in urgent need of travel.

The group slammed Israel’s increasing and flagrant violations of international and humanitarian laws.

The statement condemned Israeli aggressions on Palestinian civilians and the permanent closure of border-crossings, urging the international community to urgently intervene and work on lifting the tough siege on Gaza.