Some 60 Palestinian laborers were seized Saturday night in a container on their way to Israel in search of work. The men were arrested by an Agriculture Ministry unit on Highway 60, near Ein Gedi in the Dead Sea area, after receiving a report about a suspicious truck.
The Palestinians were handed over to the police for questioning. One of the Palestinians who was in the container told Ynet that it had been so crowded in there that at some point the men had felt their lives were in danger.
"We passed the Nabi Musa area and felt that we had reached a third roadblock," said the laborer. "We identify the roadblocks through the spikes which force the vehicle to slow down, and at a certain stage, when we felt we had reached the third roadblock, the container stopped and the flow of air was halted completely. We felt that people were about to suffocate."
The laborers' families were informed that the container had been stopped and that the men were forced to wait inside for a whole hours and nearly suffocated. The family members reported the incident to the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, which appealed to the security forces and asked them to speed up the handling of the container.
"We usually make our way from the Jordan Valley area, move to Beershabe, and from there on Highway 60 we head to Tel Aviv, but this time we were caught," the laborer said.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report