On Monday 3rd October a man from the village of Izbit at Tabib died before reaching hospital as a result of the roadblock that prevents access to the main highway. Ahmad Ibrahim Shiwor, 41 years old, was suffering heart problems in his family home. An ambulance was called but unable to reach the house due to the roadblock at the entrance to the village. Unconscious, Ahmad was carried with difficulty into a private car and driven down to the roadblock, where he then had to be carried by hand over the rocks and piles of dirt and rubble that were put in place by Israeli soldiers over two weeks ago. Finally, he was delivered to the ambulance, at least 15 minutes after the ambulance arrived at the roadblock. He died just before reaching the hospital in Ramallah.
Ahmad left behind nine children, the eldest being just fifteen years old. He had been experiencing health problems for the past year, so when the roadblock was imposed two weeks ago, his family were concerned that he might have trouble getting to the hospital and started to make arrangements for an apartment in Ramallah – fearing such an incident.
After Ahmad’s death, humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross and Machsom Watch made a request to the District Coordinating Office (DCO) to open the roadblock for one hour to allow his body to be returned to his home for funeral preparations. The request was refused. Instead family members and friends had to carry his corpse over the earthmound once again, and then carry the casket over for the funeral in An Nabilyas. Elderly family members then had difficulty attending the funeral as they struggled to climb over the pile of rubble.
In a serious case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, DCO this morning ordered for the Izbit at Tabib roadblock to be removed, in response to Ahmad’s death.