Private Ambulance Driver Arrested for Smuggling Palestinians into Israel

Border Police arrested a private ambulance driver and eight Palestinians hiding in the ambulance at the Ofer checkpoint. The driver attempted to deceive officers by claiming a medical emergency to bypass inspection.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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Private Ambulance Driver Arrested for Smuggling Palestinians into Israel

Private Ambulance Driver Arrested for Smuggling Palestinians into Israel

On Sunday morning, Border Police officers at the Ofer checkpoint on Route 443 north of Jerusalem arrested a private ambulance driver and eight Palestinians who were hiding in the ambulance. The driver, a medical volunteer from a private organization, attempted to deceive the officers by claiming a medical emergency to bypass inspection.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the ongoing challenges Israel faces in securing its borders and preventing illegal entry, which has significant implications for national security and the risk of terrorism. Moreover, it underscores the need for vigilance and thorough inspections at border crossings to prevent the misuse of emergency services for illegal activities.

Upon refusal by security personnel to allow passage, an inspection of the ambulance, labeled "private ambulance Hadera," revealed the eight Palestinians inside who did not have entry permits into Israel. The driver and a second volunteer operating the vehicle, along with the eight Palestinians, were taken into custody.

Health Minister Uriel Busso strongly condemned the incident, stating, "I see the incident in which a private ambulance was used to smuggle illegal infiltrators with great severity. A rescue vehicle must be used for one thing - saving lives. Any other use harms public health." Busso demanded the revocation of the ambulance license from the driver and company, and called for the enforcement authorities to bring all involved to justice.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir also weighed in, congratulating the forces who foiled the smuggling attempt. "Our enemy breaks a record low and doesn't spare any means to infiltrate into Israeli territory. Even using an ambulance. I congratulate the alertness of the forces on the ground and the foiling of the smuggling. Illegal infiltrators are a platform for terror - we will fight using all means to prevent their entry," Ben-Gvir stated.

The incident at the Ofer checkpoint highlights the ongoing challenges Israel faces in securing its borders and preventing illegal entry. While private ambulances serve a vital role in providing emergency medical services, the alleged misuse of such vehicles for smuggling purposes raises serious concerns. As authorities investigate the incident further, it underscores the need for vigilance and thorough inspections at border crossings to maintain national security.

Key Takeaways

  • Border Police arrested a private ambulance driver and 8 Palestinians hiding in the ambulance at Ofer checkpoint.
  • The driver claimed a medical emergency to bypass inspection, but was caught and taken into custody.
  • The 8 Palestinians did not have entry permits into Israel and were also arrested.
  • Health Minister Uriel Busso condemned the incident, demanding the ambulance license be revoked.
  • National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir praised the forces for foiling the smuggling attempt.