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Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 16:16 UK

Israeli jailed over baby tragedy

Palestinians queue at the main checkpoint outside Nablus
There are hundreds of blockages to the movement of Palestinians

An Israeli soldier has been removed from duty and jailed for two weeks for refusing to allow a Palestinian woman in labour to pass through a checkpoint.

The soldier was in command at the checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus. The woman was trying to reach a hospital in the city.

She was forced to give birth at the checkpoint. Her baby was stillborn.

The Israeli army said the woman and her husband did not have the permit to allow the car to enter Nablus.

But the army said the incident, which occurred a week ago, could have been prevented.

It took an ambulance from Nablus 50 minutes to get to the checkpoint. At which point the baby was dead.

Between 2000 and 2006, at least 68 Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Of these 35 women miscarried, and five died in childbirth.

According the United Nations there are more than 600 physical obstructions, including checkpoints, to the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The territory has been occupied by Israel since the 1967.




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