A Palestinian man from the northern West Bank village of Farun died Wednesday morning after he was crushed to death inside an Israeli checkpoint near Tulkarem as he was trying to get to work.
Witnesses said 39-year-old Ahmad Samih Bdeir, who was on his way to a construction job inside Israel, choked to death in extreme overcrowding amid large numbers of people trying to cross the al-Tayba checkpoint, also called Shaar Efrayim.
The witnesses said the crush occurred because of the extremely slow pace at which inspection procedures were carried out by the Israeli soldiers staffing the facility.
The death is the second at al-Tayba this year, after 59-year-old Adel Muhammad Yakoub died in early January as a result of extreme overcrowding at the checkpoint as well.
Inspection procedures at the checkpoint typically take hours as every person must pass through metal turnstiles one-at-a-time.
The turnstiles in turn are controlled by Israeli soldiers from hidden posts, and workers frequently complain about unnecessary delays caused by the soldiers staffing the checkpoints, who are typically 18- or 19-year-old conscripts finishing their compulsory military service. more