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Despite the Complete Closure of Crossings and Airports Due to Coronavirus Spread, PCHR Receives Special Approval for the Return of Child to Gaza from Germany

Date: 30 March 2020 

Despite the complete closure of crossings and airports due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) succeeded in returning a 6-year-old child (B. Sh.) to the Gaza Strip after receiving medical treatment in Germany.

On Wednesday, 25 March 2020, the child’s family submitted an appeal to PCHR, in which they expressed their extreme fear their sick child, alone in Germany, might get infected with  the coronavirus. The family called upon PCHR to immediately intervene to save their child’s life and secure his return to the Gaza Strip.

PCHR immediately began its legal and humanitarian work through direct intervention with the competent Israeli and Palestinian authorities and submitted an urgent and exceptional humanitarian request to the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Office at  Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing to return the child to the Gaza Strip.

After strenuous efforts exerted within 24 hours, PCHR managed to obtain initial approval for the child’s return after sending the child’s flight ticket booking from Germany to Tel Aviv to the Israeli side. Several hours later, full and final approval was obtained for the child’s return to Gaza through Erez Crossing.

On Sunday, 29 March 2020, the child, accompanied by a German woman, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. He was transported to the Erez Crossing. At approximately 01:00 on Monday, the child arrived at the crossing and his father was waiting for him at the Palestinian side.

(B. Sh.) and his father were quarantined according to the procedures applicable in the Gaza Strip.

It should be noted that (B. Sh.) traveled with his mother to Germany through Rafah border crossing for treatment and because of his mother’s health conditions, she returned to Gaza and left her child in the hospital to complete his treatment.

PCHR, through its lawyers in the Legal Aid Unit, continue to provide legal counseling and assistance for all Palestinians around the clock.