Yesterday evening, the 25th August, Fadwa ‘Abd a-Salem al-Aladem, a 24 year-old woman from the village of Beit Ula near Hebron, went into labour. Her brother-in-law was driving her to the hospital in a Peugot 504 station wagon. The car arrived at the IDF checkpoint near Beit Kahel at approximately 7:40 p.m. The soldiers at the checkpoint refused to allow Fadwa to pass through the checkpoint towards al-Alia Hospital in Hebron, claiming that the city was under closure. The family pleaded for 15 minutes to no avail. They were forced to turn back and travel to the hospital by a circuitous route. Rather than the usual 10-minute drive to the hospital, this alternative route took close to an hour.
While on the way to the hospital, Fadwa gave birth in the car in the Dura village.
The family reached the hospital at approximately 8:45 p.m. and Fadwa was transferred to the maternity ward. Dr. Ahmad Atraira, who admitted the mother and newborn, wrote in his medical report that the baby was dying on arrival at the hospital and his efforts to save him proved fruitless.
B’Tselem notes that this is the second incident in a few days in which an infant died after being delayed at an IDF checkpoint. These incidents indicate the IDF’s indifference to Palestinian life and health.
B’Tselem has issued repeated warnings about this indifference in the past. However there is no indication that the IDF has made serious attempts to prevent a recurrence of these tragic incidents.