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Palestine: Red Crescent Weekly Press Release

Weekly Press Release

1-7 November 2003

During this reporting period, the Israeli Army has continued to violate the First and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by denying freedom of movement to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances and its medical teams, who were threatened by gunfire, humiliated and verbally abused. Delays, denial of access and arbitrary searches had a negative impact on the sick and the wounded in Gaza, Nablus, Tubas, Bethlehem, Qalqilia and Jericho.

Khan Younis (Khuza’a area), 6 November 2003 (21:30): A PRCS ambulance was on its way to transport injured persons to hospital. As the ambulance approached the area, Israeli soldiers began firing towards it. The ambulance immediately notified the EMS station and requested ICRC coordination. A second attempt to enter the area failed due to heavy gunfire from the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers denied the ambulance access for three hours before finally allowing it to transport the injuries to hospital.

Khan Younis (Khuza’a area), 6 November 2003 (21:30): A second PRCS ambulance dispatched to the above mentioned location was also prevented from transporting injuries to hospital due to heavy Israeli Army gunfire. Israeli soldiers denied the ambulance access for one hour before allowing it to transport one injury to hospital. The same ambulance returned to the scene in order to transport additional injuries but was denied access for four hours.

Nablus, 6 November 2003 (03:15): Israeli soldiers stopped a PRCS ambulance on its way to Ras Al-a’ain Street to transport an injured person in critical condition to hospital. The soldiers ordered the crew out of the ambulance and searched it. The soldiers detained the ambulance for 30 minutes and then denied its access. A second attempt to access the injured person succeeded. However, by the time the ambulance reached the hospital, the woman was pronounced dead by hospital officials.

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