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Gaza: Physician killed while assisting the wounded

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Killed in the Line of Duty

PHR-Israel expresses concern over the Israeli army's use of the "double attack" in Gaza, which killed a Palestinian physician and others who came to offer assistance.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has sent an urgent letter to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Israeli army, demanding that he open an investigation into the army's attacks on Gaza yesterday, 5 in number, which have left 14 Palestinians dead and over 100 wounded. Amongst the dead is Dr. Zain Al-'Abdeen Shaheen, a Palestinian physician.

According to information available, it seems that the army helicopters fired once at an area, and then, after a short delay, fired again, this time even though a crowd had gathered at the scene. Dr. Shaheen, aged 29, was killed in the second set of blasts- the "double attack"- released by Israeli helicopters in the Nusseirat refugee camp last night, after running to the site, as did many others, with the intention of helping the injured. According to news reports, he was shot while offering first aid to those in need.

Terrorist organization have developed a tactic which is most appalling: they hit the same place twice, hoping that the second blast will injure the decent human beings who responded to the first blast and arrived to offer help. Israeli security forces have mentioned several times that they are frightened of exactly such a scenario. PHR-Israel is disturbed to see the similarity in Israel's actions last night.

PHR-Israel condemns the Israeli army's assassination policy, in general, and specifically this new tactic of striking the same place twice with a small time delay, which killed those who came to offer assistance. In addition, PHR-Israel expresses grave concern regarding the announcement of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, that blood supplies are running low in the Gaza Strip.

For more information or interviews, please contact: Shabtai Gold, Public Outreach, +972-54-860630, or Hadas Ziv, Director: Occupied Territories Project, who wrote the urgent letter to the JAG.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 1988 and currently comprising some 800 members, with the aim of striving to promote medical human rights in Israel and in the territories under Israel's effective control. The basic values of PHR-Israel are human dignity, protection of bodily and mental integrity, and promotion of the right to health and medical care.

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