Days of Palestine, West Bank –Palestinian baby girl died early this month at an Israeli military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestine Monitor revealed on Wednesday.
Nadeen Nasháat Jamal Asfour, a baby girl from the village of Sinjil, between Ramallah and Nablus, died in the early morning on Thursday, January 8 at an Israeli checkpoint.
She was only 4 months and 17 days old, and she passed away after the ambulance she travelled in waited a long time at an Israeli checkpoint between Beitin and Al-Bireh, just outside of Ramallah.
An ambulance from the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) responded to an emergency call in Sinjil after the child began to experience difficult breathing after she had breastfed by her mother that night.
Mohanad Darabee, a paramedic working with the PRC, who was at the scene, told the Palestine Monitor that the child was already in a perilous state when the ambulance collected her and her father to bring them to the hospital in Ramallah.
In order to give the girl the best chance of survival, they left at maximum speed along the fastest route to Ramallah Hospital. However, when they reached the Israeli DCO checkpoint, the paramedics saw Israeli soldier approached the gate, which was closed, to open it.
The ambulance crew immediately called another PRC ambulance to come from Ramallah and meet them at the checkpoint, but at this point, the baby Nadeen was fighting for her life.
Darabee continued: the ambulance from Ramallah eventually transferred the girl to Ramallah Hospital, but she was already dead by the time they arrived at the Emergency Response Unit.
Palestine Monitor said that the incident illustrates the difficulties Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have in accessing emergency medical care.
Despite the best efforts of the local PRC team, they were unable to transfer the baby girl to the hospital on time to receive lifesaving treatment due to the arbitrary nature of the Israeli checkpoint system in the West Bank.
This system gravely curtails the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement, as provided for under article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
International Humanitarian Law also provides that an occupying power must do its utmost to ensure the wellbeing of the local inhabitants and not disrupt their normal lives.
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Furthermore, medical teams and sick or injured people must be guaranteed safe passage under international law, even in times of war.
Sadly for this young child and her family, this episode was just another example of the daily violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank.