The international secretary of Euro-Med, Pam Bailey, is one of the victims of the surging number of deportations, and the NGO called on the council to file a formal complaint against Israel with international bodies.
“We are not individuals who want to live and work in Israel; rather, we seek the right to do so in the Palestinian territories,” notes Bailey. “
The Israeli government likes to claim it is not a prison warden. But what else is it if it controls who Palestinians choose to welcome as visitors and consultants?” An analysis of UN data conducted by the Euro-Med Monitor shows that a recent surge in reports of deportations of individuals attempting to transit through Israel to work with Palestinians is apparently the result of an official strategy implemented by the Israeli government beginning in January of this year.
Reports submitted to the Access Coordination Unit (ACU) of the United Nations Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator show that in 2015, only 1 percent of the 384 “incidents” encountered by UN and international NGO employees and consultants resulted in deportations. Rather, the vast majority of the problems (76 percent) were delays.
The same pattern was observed in the previous three years. However, through September 20 of this year, “mere” delays (which can last hours) dropped to 58 percent of the 232 reported incidents;
instead, there was a dramatic increase in forced cancellation of trips (18 percent) and deportations (9-10 percent). By far the most incidents were reported at Erez, the crossing from Israel into Gaza, indicating that travelers to the blockaded Strip are particularly targeted. About 4 percent of UN employees were denied permits.