Israeli Occupation Forces Intentionally Target PRCS Teams and Ambulances in Occupied Jerusalem

PRESS RELEASE
Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS)

PRCS (400 x 267)

PRCS has documented 53 attacks against its teams and ambulances in which 37 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were wounded and around 20 ambulances were damaged since October 3rd when the latest round of attacks by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians in the oPt, including Jerusalem, began. Furthermore. There are 24 cases in which PRCS’ ambulances were hindered and prevented from reaching wounded Palestinians near seam zones.

The majority of attacks (23) took place in occupied Jerusalem. PRCS affirms that these violations aim at hindering the work of its teams and at preventing them from carrying out their humanitarian duty, including reaching injured persons, providing them with First Aid and ensuring their transfer to hospitals. This has increased the suffering of injured persons and their families.

These violations constitute a grave breach of IHL provisions which stipulate that National Societies, such as the Palestine Red Crescent, must be allowed to provide humanitarian services to those in need. Moreover, occupation forces have infringed the four Geneva Conventions by arresting Palestinians from inside PRCS’ ambulances in a crying violation of the sanctity of ambulances and of the Society’s emblem, as well as of the right of the wounded to access medical care. The Fourth Geneva Convention in particular stipulates that the occupying power should assure access to medical services and medical personnel. These violations have forced the wounded to seek alternative means of traveling to hospitals, exacerbating their wounds and endangering their lives.

PRCS calls on the international community represented by political, humanitarian and relief organizations to take practical measures to compel the occupying power to cease all attacks and violations against the wounded, PRCS’ ambulances and teams. Israel should ensure the transfer of injured persons and to ensure that they receive adequate emergency services and are transported to hospital if needed.