Two members of the International Action Center had a large quantity
antibiotics taken from them by Israel at the Allenby bridge.
Samia Halaby of the Al Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition and
Dan Winters of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace, both
U.S. citizens, were prevented by Israeli authorities from delivering
much needed antibiotics to medical clinics and hospitals in Palestine.
Halaby and Winters were entering Israel from Jordan on Sunday
January 21 at noon when customs authorities told them that their
charitable attempt was tantamount to smuggling and all that they had
was forthwith confiscated. In a moment of honesty, a high official of
the customs service informed them that at best they had the slimmest
of chances of picking it up on their return.
"They know we weren't smugglers, otherwise they would have
arrested us. It's clearly political harassment and a malicious act by the
Israelis," stated Halaby.
It is important to note that this medicine had the power to save the
lives of 2275 individuals many of whom would be children. The 91 large
bottles of drugs were valued at $18,000 and were intended to treat
pneumonia, infections, gastroenteritis, Intifada injuries and wounds.
Pneumonia is now widespread in Palestine.
Winters stated, "It's immoral and even criminal to stop children from
getting medicine, especially when there's a shortage."
Halaby and Winters had just arrived in Amman after completing the
Iraqi Sanctions Challenge part of their journey with 47 member
delegation to Iraq. The International Action Center, located in New York
City, traveled to Iraq to deliver medicine which was a direct violation of
the United States law and UN resolutions.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who headed the
delegation, said that “sanctions violate basic human rights and could
not be used as a reason to deny medicine to the people of Iraq.”
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