update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

WATCH: Ambulance driver caught with eight illegal Palestinian workers

The incident occurred on Route 44 at the Ofer checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

An ambulance arrives at Ziv Medical Center in Safed, March 27, 2024. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.
An ambulance arrives at Ziv Medical Center in Safed, March 27, 2024. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Israeli Border Police officers arrested two medical volunteers early Sunday who were attempting to smuggle eight illegal Palestinian Authority workers into the country in a private ambulance.

The incident occurred on Route 44 at the Ofer checkpoint, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Video published of the incident shows the driver being questioned by soldiers with another man in the passenger seat. The driver, an Israeli citizen from Jerusalem, claimed that there was a “serious accident” and that he was “saving lives.”

The camera then pans to the back of the ambulance and the doors of the trunk are opened to reveal eight Palestinians without permits to work in Green Line Israel.

“I take very seriously the incident in which a private ambulance was used to smuggle illegal residents. An emergency rescue vehicle should only be used for one purpose—saving lives. Any other use is an infringement on public health. I demanded that the ambulance license of the driver and the ambulance company be revoked, and I also call on the enforcement authorities to prosecute all those involved so that such serious incidents do not happen again,” Health Minister Uriel Bosso said.

The vehicle was labeled “Private Ambulance Hadera.”

Ranaan Ashtar, the owner of Hadera Ambulance, told Channel 12 that the company considers the act a “very serious incident.”

“We are on our way to the police at this time to file a complaint against him [the driver]. This is an employee who worked at the company for a short time and recently asked to return to work with us,” Ashtar said.

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