OPT: Weekly Press Release 23 - 29 Jul 2005

Report
from Palestine Red Crescent Society
Published on 31 Jul 2005
During this reporting period, the Israeli Army has continued to violate International Humanitarian Law and Fundamental Human Rights, by restricting freedom of movement to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances and its medical teams. Delays, denial of access and arbitrary searches had a negative impact on wounded and sick in Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilia & Jericho.
Jericho, 28 July 2005 (22:15 PM): A PRCS ambulance was stopped and delayed access by Israeli soldiers at Al Aujja Junction, north of Jericho city, while on route to transport a sick person to one of the Palestinian hospitals in Jericho. The ambulance was subjected to arbitrary search for more than half an hour. The soldiers then obliged the crew to follow them to Yetab check point. Upon arrival at the check point, the soldiers again started searching the ambulance. One of the PRCS medics was ordered to step out of the ambulance, where he was handcuffed and detained in an outdoor latrine near the checkpoint. The medic was released thirty minutes later and threatened not to return again to the checkpoint. The PRCS ambulance was allowed to pass after a delay of more than one hour.

The following table lists incidents of delays of access during this reporting period.

PRCS Branch
Date
Checkpoint
Delay of access
(unless indicated 'denied access')
Nablus
27/07/2005
Beit Iba
30 minutes
27/07/2005
Shafi Shamroun
90 minutes
28/07/2005
Beit Iba
90 minutes
Jenin
27/07/2005
The entrance of Shafi Shamroun
120 minutes
Tulkarem
28/07/2005
Surra-Jit junction
40 minutes
28/07/2005
Beit Iba
36 minutes
Qalqilia
28/07/2005
Jit junction
60 minutes
Jericho
28/07/2005
The Border
50 minutes

During this reporting period, a total of 5 deaths & 22 injuries were reported in the West Bank and Gaza.

These practices constitute a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which are legally applied to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In particular, they violate articles 20 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which guarantees the protection and respect of persons who engage in the search for, removal and transport of and caring for wounded and sick civilians, and article 63 which stresses that " Subject to temporary and exceptional measures imposed for urgent reasons of security by the Occupied Power, recognized National red cross and red crescent societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined by the international Red Cross Conferences...". In addition to articles 12 and 15 of the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva conventions which guarantees that " Medical units shall be respected and protected at all times and shall not be the object of attack and shall have access to any place where their services are essential" and article 16 which stresses that, "Under no circumstances shall any person be punished for carrying out medical activities compatible with medical ethics, regardless of the person benefiting there from.", in addition to article 21, which stresses that," Medical vehicles shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units under the Conventions and this Protocol."

For full text see: http://www.palestinercs.org/IHL_Refrence_Text.htm

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

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