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Palestinian-Israeli doctor refused entry to flashpoint settlement to perform coronavirus test

Illegal Israeli Jewish settlement Yitzhar is located near the West Bank city of Nablus [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 25 September, 2020

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The Palestinian Israeli doctor said his denied entry into Yitzhar settlement was an 'example of the racist hatred that underlies the settlement movement'.
A Palestinian-Israeli doctor was denied access to a flashpoint settlement in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Israeli media reported, preventing him from conducting a coronavirus test on a settler.

The medic, named only as Fadi, was blocked by a guard from entering the Yitzhar settlement south of Palestinian city Nablus on the basis that he was Arab Palestinian. 

"At the entrance to the settlement, the security guard stopped me and told me that I could not go in because I was an Arab," Fadi told Israel's Channel 12 news.

"I answered him that I am a doctor, and I came to check patients. We are in 2020 and I am a citizen of Israel. As a doctor I do not differentiate between religion, race or skin color and I came here to check patients."

Fadi, who works as a physician at a hospital in Israeli city Petah Tikva, said he was denied entry despite providing a clear medical purpose for his visit and carrying all the necessary paperwork.

The security guard "told me that because I was an Arab it was dangerous for him to let me in, that stones would be thrown at me," Fadi recalled.

"In the end I did not go in," he added. "The patient called to ask why I did not come to the settlement and I told him they did not let me in because I was an Arab."

"If that person had tested positive and God forbid deteriorated and come to the hospital, I would have been the one to treat him,” said Fadi.

"This is an instructive example of the racist hatred that underlies the settlement movement."

Settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar attacked Palestinian vehicles with rocks earlier this month.

At least one driver, who was travelling on the Nablus-Qalqilia road, near the village of Burin, was injured.

Israeli settler violence is the norm in the occupied West Bank and occupying Israeli authorities very rarely punish their behaviour, allowing for settlers to inflict violence on Palestinians except in very rare cases.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Israel's plans to annex the West Bank have been denounced as an illegal violation of international law by world leaders as well as UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet.

Israel was originally supposed to begin annexing the occupied West Bank on 1 July, but the plan had been delayed - allegedly because the map to annex the territories was not ready on time.

Israel has recorded more than 215,000 coronavirus infections and 1,378 deaths, out of a population of nine million, with more than 7,500 new cases on Thursday.

Agencies contributed to this report

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