Monday, August 16, 2004

PR (AL_BIREH PALESTINE): Israelis delay civilian movements 8-16-04

PRCS Weekly Press Release for the period
7-13 August 2004

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 the sick and wounded in Nablus, Hebron, Al-Bireh and Jenin.

Nablus, 10/8/2004 (09:00 AM): A PRCS medic was injured while on route to transport injuries to hospital during an Israeli Army incursion into the Old city of Nablus. For further information go to:

Hebron, 10/08/2004 (09:45 AM): A PRCS ambulance was stopped and denied access by Israeli soldiers at the ‘Tunnels’ checkpoint, while on route to Jerusalem to transport sick cases to hospital. Instantly, the soldiers began to shout verbal abuses at the crew and ordered the ambulance to return back, claiming that the sick did not have permits to enter Jerusalem. Moreover, the Israeli soldiers confiscated the ambulance driver’s identity card and detained him for two hours at the Gush Etzion police station.

In addition to the above, the following table lists incidents of delay and denial of access during this reporting period.

PRCS Branch Date Checkpoint Delay of access
(unless indicated 'denied access')
Al Bireh 8/8/2004 Beit El 40 minutes
11/8/2004 Al Ram Junction 195 minutes
11/8/2004 Beit El 40 minutes
11/8/2004 Beit El 30 minutes
12/8/2004 Zayy’im Denied access
Jenin 12/8/2004 Arraba Junction 20 minutes & denied access

The following incident was also documented during this reporting period:

Hebron, 7/8/2004 (08:30 AM): A PRCS mobile health clinic was stopped at the ‘Container’ ( Wadi Al Nar) checkpoint, while on route to Ramallah from Hebron. Israeli soldiers took the crew’s identity cards for checking. Then, two of the soldiers with their weapons got into the mobile clinic and ordered the driver to continue on his way. Although the crew tried to explain to the soldiers that such action is prohibited, the soldiers ignored them and ordered the driver to drive. The mobile clinic continued for 250 meters before the soldiers ordered the driver to stop. The two soldiers got out of the mobile clinic and allowed it to pass.

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 territories. 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:

During this reporting period, a total of 6 deaths and 65 injuries were reported in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

**************************************************For more information please contact Press Office at: Phone: +972 2 240 6515/6/7E-mail: