The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) categorically denies allegations made by Ofir Gendelman, Israeli Government spokesperson, on his Facebook account, in which he claims that PRCS’ teams refused to discharge their humanitarian duty and to assist several wounded Israelis near Al Samou’ (Hebron Governorate) on Friday.
The facts are as follows: a PRCS’ team arrived at the scene and started providing First Aid to the wounded. A few minutes later, two Israeli ambulances, one belonging to the Israeli army and another from Magen David Adom, arrived at the scene. The ambulances’ teams headed towards the wounded persons, brandishing their weapons. Given that Israeli paramedics had arrived and were providing medical care to casualties, PRCS’ team left the scene which they felt had become unsafe.
Since early October, Israeli occupation forces have assaulted and directly targeted PRCS’ teams, either by firing bullets and canisters at them, or by beating them, or by pepper spraying them. 125 PRCS emergency medical technicians have been wounded and 67 ambulances damaged as a result of these systematic practices which go against IHL provisions. Moreover, Israeli occupation forces have prevented PRCS’ teams on 66 different occasions from reaching Palestinian sick and wounded persons to provide them with medical life-saving treatment.
The humanitarian principles and values and professionalism of PRCS’ teams are indisputable. PRCS has over the years provided First Aid to hundreds of Israelis present in the oPt, as was the case mid-October when its teams provided an Israeli citizen with medical assistance near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. PRCS calls on Ofir Gendelman and all those concerned to peruse Israeli Media Archives for all similar cases where PRCS’ teams provided First Aid to Israeli citizens.
Israeli occupation forces have not ceased their blatant violations of IHL and the Four Geneva Conventions which apply in the oPt: they hinder the work of medical teams, prevent wounded persons from receiving medical attention, storm hospitals to kill and arrest injured Palestinians, and terrorize patients and medical teams in a clear breach of conventions and laws.
PRCS discharges its mission in line with the lofty principles and values it believes in. The Society believes that medical assistance should be provided to all those in need regardless of their nationality, race or religion. Israel, on the contrary, leaves Palestinians, including children, to bleed and prevents help and medical teams from reaching them, as can be seen in a number of footage videos.
Israeli occupation authorities and their representatives should put an end to this information war and to the falsification of facts aimed at spreading misinformation and Israeli propaganda.