Aid groups call on Israel to release Polish NGO worker
Published Tuesday 10/09/2013 (updated) 11/09/2013 14:49
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Association of International Aid Agencies on Tuesday called on Israel to release an aid worker who was denied entry into the country.
Kamil Qandil, a Polish humanitarian aid worker, has been held for over a week in an Israeli detention center after being denied entry at Ben Gurion airport on "security grounds," a statement said.
An employee of Polish Humanitarian Action, Qandil has a valid multiple-entry work visa issued by Israel but was denied entry into the country on Sept. 2.
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to determine whether he will be allowed entry or be forced to return to Poland.
Qandil worked on projects in the south Hebron hills to rehabilitate water cisterns.
"Kamil's case presents serious questions about the way Israel's immigration authorities and Israel Security Agency operate," his lawyer Yadin Elam said.
"It is an uphill battle to defend Kamil in a legal process where both the defendant and his lawyer are shrouded in a veil of ignorance, as we know nothing about the nature of the allegations against Kamil."
Head of mission from Polish Humanitarian Action Marta Kaszubska said that the Israeli government "is setting a worrying precedent by denying the entry of humanitarian workers who are at the forefront of ensuring that the needs of vulnerable people are met."