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Press Release



Israeli occupying forces prevent a PCHR lawyer from traveling



Ref: 116/2002

Date: 02 October 2002


For the second consecutive day, Israeli occupying forces have prevented a PCHR Lawyer, Sharif Mustafa Abu Nassar, 37, from traveling through Rafah border crossing to Egypt.  Abu Nassar went to Rafah border crossing on Tuesday morning, 1 October 2002, to travel through Cairo International Airport to Cyprus to participate in a course organized the Middle East Council of Churches.  After waiting for an hour at the crossing, Abu Nassar was summoned by the Israeli intelligence service for interrogation.  He was interrogated for more than an hour.  Then, an Israeli intelligence officer told him that he was prevented from traveling, without giving any reason, and that he could come again on the following morning.  On Wednesday morning, Abu Nassar went again to Rafah border crossing.  Approximately half an hour after he arrived at the crossing, an Israeli intelligence officer told him that he was prevented from traveling.  Abu Nassar was forced to go back home after long waiting. 


These Israeli measures are part of the policies of collective punishment practices by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including restrictions imposed on free movement and travel. As Israeli occupying forces have control over all border outlets of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, they have absolute control over traveling abroad.  They often close Rafah border crossing, and hundreds of Palestinians only are allowed to travel daily through it.   Israeli occupying authorities very often prevent Palestinian from traveling without providing any reason.  Dozens of Palestinians traveling from and to Gaza have been arrested by Israeli occupying forces and some are still in custody. 


PCHR condemns these arbitrary measures and reiterates its call upon the international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to effectively intervene to stop grave breaches perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces, and to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention.