(Al-Bireh - 25 7 2014) The PRCS condemns the targeting of Israeli occupation forces of two of its EMS teams. One of its ambulances was targeted in the afternoon (Friday- 257)in Beit Hanoun leading to the death of EMT volunteer Aaed Borei, 27 years old, and the wounding of three EMTs causing them moderate injuries. The PRCS equally deplores the targeting of its crews when they tried to recover the body of the killed EMT and evacuate the wounded, although they had been given the green light by occupation forces via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Till this minute, the body of Borei has not been recovered by the PRCS.
Later in the night of the same day, a second EMT volunteer, Mohammad Al Abadleh (28 years old), was shot when he got off the ambulance in Khuzaaha despite the permission he received from the Israeli forces through the ICRC to leave the ambulance and treat the injured found in the place. Moreover, when his colleagues tried to treat him, they were targeted preventing them to help the injured volunteer. Al Abadleh was left to bleed till death.
PRCS stresses that these two crimer, which were premeditated and deliberate, committed by the occupation forces, are war crimes and constitute a flagrant violation of the provisions of International Humanitarian Law, which provides for the respect of medical personnel and the special protection guaranteed to them so that they can perform their humanitarian duty safely and without threat to their lives, and deliver their first aid and relief services to civilian victims living under occupation.
This targeting constitutes a breach of laws providing for the respect of the Red Crescent emblem and the protection of all that carries it, including members, vehicles and buildings.
The PRCS President, Dr. Younis Al Khatib, demands that the perpetrators of this crime be held accountable and punished, and that the international community in all its institutions take practical measures to compel occupation forces not to target medical staff, as well as protect them and facilitate their mission to the benefit of those affected.
The Society highlights that the targeting of ambulance teams is an attempt by occupation forces to prevent these teams from evacuating the wounded and to obstruct their work to intentionally cause the death of the wounded.
The teams and vehicles of the PRCS are under attack on a daily basis and are frequently targeted by Israeli forces during the evacuation of the wounded from different areas in the Gaza Strip. So far, 33 of its EMTs were injured and serious damage was caused to ten of its ambulances, 7 of which became out of service, adding to that the destruction of the EMS center in Jabaliya.