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Israel blocks access of relief aid to Bedouin community

Israeli workers dismantle tents during a demolition operation of a Palestinian bedouin encampment in the area of Humsa, east of the village of Tubas in the north of the occupied West Bank on February 22, 2021 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli workers dismantle tents during a demolition operation of a Palestinian bedouin encampment in the area of Humsa, east of the village of Tubas in the north of the occupied West Bank on February 22, 2021 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli forces prevented the access of a relief aid truck transporting humanitarian and food supplies to Palestinians in the northern occupied Jordan Valley. The truck was going to the residents of Khirbet Humsah Al-Foqa, a community which was demolished a few days ago by the Israeli forces for the seventh time this year.

Humsah Al-Foqa is one of 38 Bedouin and herding communities located in vulnerable areas that Israel has declared 'firing zones.' These groups of residents have little access to education and health services, electricity, sanitation, and water.

According to Wafa, Mutaz Bsharat, an official responsible for tracking Israeli activities in the Jordan valley, Israeli occupation forces intercepted the truck in Humsah Al-Foqa, and forced it to return to where it came from with its cargo.

Occupation forces have a long history of blocking Palestinian access to medicine and humanitarian resources. Palestinians in Gaza who require medical treatment from hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank go through an onerous process imposed by Israel to be approved for a border permit. These permits are frequently denied or delayed to the point where health complications escalate to fatalities.

READ: Israel orders demolition of Palestinian homes in West Bank village

Travel restrictions and checkpoints have hindered Palestinians' access to healthcare. The resurgence of COVID-19 cases has prompted tighter local lockdowns put in place by Israel and therefore harsher procedures for approving travel.

With little faith in the permit approval process, Palestinians with life-threatening conditions are forced to turn to human rights groups for help, with limited success.

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