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2022-10-05

Statement by PRCS Regarding Israeli Attacks Against Medical Missions

PRCS takes with the greatest seriousness the attacks carried out by Israeli occupation forces against PRCS medics in the line of duty on October 2, 2022, at the Beit Fourik checkpoint to the South of Nablus. Two of the Society’s volunteer medics, Mohamad Ba’ara and Firas al Bath, were threatened at gunpoint, kicked and beaten. One of the two men was also hit on the head with a rifle, and both sustained serious injuries and were detained by soldiers. Israeli soldiers also kicked the ambulance and struck it with their rifle butts.

Such violations are taking place on a quasi-daily basis throughout the oPt even though the emblem of the Red Crescent is clearly marked on all PRCS uniforms and vehicles. Furthermore, International Humanitarian Law strictly prohibits the targeting of medical missions, including health and humanitarian personnel, vehicles and facilities. It also calls for their respect and protection at all times and prohibits interference in their operations.

Since the beginning of 2022, 383 violations were committed against PRCS personnel and vehicles in the oPt: 19 violations were committed against PRCS ambulances; 19 ambulances were obstructed, 331 were denied access. Moreover, 14 violations were committed against PRCS staff and volunteers.

PRCS stresses  the protection that must be afforded to the sick and wounded, as well as to medical services, facilities, units and transports. It reaffirms that the sick and wounded must be guaranteed full and unrestricted access to medical and health services, and recalls that IHL prohibits violence or threats against medical missions as well as any interference in their activities. PRCS urges all States Parties to the Geneva Conventions to ensure that Israel, the Occupying Power, respects the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and ensures the protection of all PRCS medical missions in the oPt.