Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Israeli soldiers assault medics near Bethlehem


By Naomi Kundera - June 18, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli army] [Red Cross] [Bethlehem]

In the evening of June 9 two Palestinian medics were assaulted by Israeli soldiers while responding to an emergency call in the south of Bethlehem.

An Israeli and Palestinian car had collided on the road just outside the settlement of Gush Etzion. The emergency unit of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) in Bethlehem responded to a call received from the PRC Hospital in Hebron asking for a backup unit.
 
Israeli first-responders were already on the scene when the Bethlehem unit reached the area. Upon their arrival, Israeli soldiers began acting aggressively toward the PRC medics.
 
According to the PRC in Bethlehem, the soldiers prevented the PRC medics from entering the accident site. When the medics insisted on administering the aid required of them and stepped toward the victims, the soldiers reportedly pulled out their guns and kicked one of the medics.
 
The PRC first responders did not procure any injuries from this altercation.
 
The medics eventually were able to treat the car crash victims, but their emergency vehicle had to remain at a distance and they were forced to carry their equipment and stretcher some 30-50 meters to the victims.
 
The Israeli military has been in the spotlight lately for its continuous practice of attacking Palestinian men and women in uniform.
 
Two weeks ago social media and news outlets everywhere covered the brutal killing of Razan al-Najar in Gaza. The 21-year-old volunteer medic was shot in the chest while aiding a wounded protester out in the field.
 
In April of this year, the deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, wrote an op-ed for CNN warning both Palestinian and international journalists of the dangers of being on the field.
 
Mahoney cites the recent death of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja in Gaza, who was killed despite clearly being marked in his press gear.
 
“Seventeen journalists have been killed in Israel and the Occupied Territories since CPJ began keeping records in 1992,” Mahoney wrote, “15 of them by Israeli fire, and no one has been held accountable for their deaths.”
 
In humanitarian instances, like the car crash in the Bethlehem district, Director of the PRC in Bethlehem, Mohammed Awad, told the Palestine Monitor that Israeli and Palestinian first-responders usually work together.
 
“In the end,” Awad says, “this is a human that needs aid.” There is no discrimination in who receives medical assistance.
 

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