oPt

OPT: Weekly Press Release 18 - 25 Jan 2003

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
During this reporting period Israeli army actions continued to violate the First and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through arbitrary searches, denying freedom of movement to PRCS ambulances and medical teams, and threatening and/or physically assaulting medics at gunpoint in Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah
Nablus 22 January 2003 (3:50 pm): PRCS EMS ambulance was searched and the medical team's ID was checked when they passed through Howara checkpoint responding to 2 calls for EMS assistance. En route back through Howara checkpoint with the patients the ambulance was once again stopped and checked and the same medical team's ID were re-checked. The PRCS driver tried to explain to the soldier that one of the patients was in critical condition but the soldiers were non-responsive to his request to pass and verbally abusive. After 1 hour and 35 minutes, in coordination with ICRC the ambulance was given permission to pass.

Nablus 22 January 2003 (4:15 pm): PRCS ambulance transporting a patient was obstructed by the Israeli army for 1 hour and 15 minutes at Al Maslakh checkpoint before being allowed to proceed without cause.

Nablus 22 January 2003 (7:50pm): PRCS ambulance obstructed at Amman Street checkpoint. The soldiers took and checked the team and patient's ID and held them there for over 1 hour without cause. They then continued on to Howara checkpoint where they were not allowed to pass.

Nablus 22 January 2003 (8:40pm): A PRCS ambulance transporting an emergency case was refused permission to pass Howara checkpoint. The Israeli soldiers claimed it was closed and were verbally abusive toward the driver. The ambulance was forced to turn back.

Nablus 20 January 2003 (2:30 p.m.): Israeli soldiers stopped a PRCS ambulance, ordered the team and patient out of the vehicle and at gunpoint ordered the medic to strip naked and stand in a garbage pile. When he refused to remove his underclothes or stand in the garbage a soldier held a gun to his head and said he would count to 10 and if the medic had not followed orders by then he would shoot him. The medic again refused. All IDs were confiscated and after 1 hour the driver attempted to negotiate their release with the soldier but was ordered back into the ambulance at gunpoint and verbally assaulted. After 2 hours and 45 minutes, a superior officer returned the IDs and ordered them to turn back.

Nablus 19 January 2003 (12:40 p.m.): A PRCS ambulance, led by a UN vehicle, was blocked while transporting a patient home from hospital following kidney dialysis treatment. The soldiers fired in their direction and an Israeli tank damaged the UN vehicle. Attempts to coordinate with ICRC were unsuccessful and the ambulance team was forced to return back to the hospital.

Nablus 19 January 2003 (3:38 p.m.): A PRCS ambulance transporting a patient to Dar Istia Emergency Centre was obstructed and terrorized by an Israeli army tank. The tank rammed its gun barrel through the window of the ambulance tilting the vehicle and partially lifting it off the ground. The ambulance was eventually placed back on the ground and allowed to continue on to the medical clinic.

Nablus 18 January 2003 (12:24 a.m.): PRCS EMS team was stopped and held at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers while responding to a call from a woman in labour. The team attempted to coordinate with ICRC to gain entry into the neighbourhood but they were unsuccessful and the soldiers forced them to turn back.

Bethlehem 20 January 2003 (2:00p.m.): Israeli soldiers detained and searched a PRCS ambulance transporting a patient. They ordered the EMS team and patient out of the ambulance, confiscated all IDs and made them stand in the rain for =BD an hour before allowing them to continue.

Bethlehem January 19 2003 (12:05 p.m.): Israeli soldiers obstructed a PRCS ambulance transporting a cancer patient to a hospital in Jerusalem. The ambulance was searched and eventually allowed to continue.

Ramallah 18 January 2003 (3:30 p.m.): Israeli DCO contacted PRCS dispatch requesting assistance with a vehicular accident. When the EMS team arrived at the site they were fired at and verbally assaulted by the soldiers. The Medic stated that they were responding to a request from the DCO. The soldiers ordered the ambulance to return at gunpoint.

Tulkarem 25-22 January 2003: On five separate occasions the Israeli army obstructed and searched PRCS ambulances carrying patients in critical condition requiring immediate medical attention. The delays resulted in these transports taking up to 3 hours when they should have

On five separate occasions the Israeli army obstructed and searched PRCS ambulances carrying patients in critical condition requiring immediate medical attention. The delays resulted in these transports taking up to 3 hours when they should have taken 20 minutes.

For further information please contact Press Office at +972 2 240 6515/6/7
E-mail: pressoffice@palestinercs.org

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