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Palestinian woman, escorting ill husband, detained by Israel

Dec. 8, 2018 12:26 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2018 12:49 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Head of the documentation unit at the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs in the besieged Gaza Strip, Abed al-Nasser Farawneh, said on Saturday that Israeli forces had detained a Palestinian woman while at the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun) in the northern Gaza Strip, last Thursday.

Farawneh added that Israel had detained a Palestinian woman, identifying her as Samar Salah Abu Thaher, as she was at Erez escorting her ill husband, who is heading to a hospital in the West Bank for treatment.

The Palestinian Liaison had informed the Prisoners' Affairs Committee of the detention.

Abu Thaher’s husband was not able to head to the West Bank for treatment alone, and returned to the Gaza Strip.

Erez is the only land crossing between Gaza and Israel, although travel is heavily restricted by Israeli authorities as part of a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in place since 2007.

Palestinians detained at Erez are often interrogated for several hours, sometimes for days, before they are either allowed into Israel en route to the West Bank or sent back to Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas was elected to rule the territory. Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008.

The UN has said that the besieged Palestinian territory could become "uninhabitable" by 2020, as its more than 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy, while continuing to experience slow-paced reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding homes for some 75,000 Palestinians who remain displaced since 2014.
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