Says it all:The abandoned wheelchair at the Erez crossing into Gaza: they wouldn’t open the bigger gate to let it thru pic.twitter.com/JiMAazj50N
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) July 8, 2015
Is he saying that Israeli (COGAT) authorities at the Erez Crossing (in northern Gaza) don’t allow wheelchair bound Palestinian passengers to pass into Gaza? Given that thousands of Gazans each year pass through Erez to receive medical treatment in Israel or the West Bank (despite the fact that Hamas sometimes fires rockets at the crossing), it seems extraordinarily unlikely that this could be the case.
Here’s one photo of a “Palestinian passing through metal detector at Erez crossing border with Gaza strip Southern Israel” which we were able to find easily enough.
Here’s an AFP photo of a “Palestinian Christian lady from the Gaza Strip is pushed in a wheelchair through the Erez crossing on December 22, 2011”.
Additionally, the Guardian’s former Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood published a story on the Erez crossing in 2011, which included this passage:
You are now in Gaza, but confined to a long caged passage through the buffer zone to reach the Palestinian border control at the other end. For those laden with luggage, a Palestinian worker offers his services for a few shekels; for the elderly or infirm, there are a few decrepit wheelchairs standing by.
The photos in Snow’s tweet may very well be the wheelchairs Sherwood alluded to.
A first person essay in Haaretz by a Palestinian published the same year included the following passage about passing through Erez.
The people exiting Gaza pushed their belongings through the turnstile, while those seated in the wheelchairs or who had large possessions were sent though another, ordinary gate.
Here’s a short video clip (from Vine) of the other gate they’re likely referring to.
It seems clear that Snow was either confused, mistaken or intentionally misleading his twitter followers into believing that Israel doesn’t allow wheelchair bound Palestinians through the Erez checkpoint.
“Says it all” about the capacity of some British journalists to impute Israeli malevolance without credible evidence.