Monday, August 23, 2004

PR JERUSALEM: Israeli delays at checkpoints cause more deaths 8-23-04

PRCS Weekly Press Release for the period 14 - 20 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, Al Bireh, Qalqiliya, Salfit, Al Ezariyeh and Gaza.

Al Ezariyeh, 20/8/2004 (17:00 PM): Israeli Soldiers Cause Extensive Damage to PRCS Ambulance at the Al Ezariyeh entrance while on route from Ramallah city to PRCS’ Al Ezariyeh Emergency Medical Services Station in Jerusalem. For more information, see Press Release:

Salfit, 17/08/2004 (23:30 PM): A PRCS ambulance was stopped by Israeli soldiers while on route to Kufr Ein village to evacuate injuries caused by explosion of unknown origin. The soldiers ordered the crew to turn off the engine and to get out of the ambulance. They also confiscated the ambulance’s communication equipment. The ambulance was delayed for nearly three and a half hours, before allowing it to pass.

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 18/8/2004 Hizma 210 minutes
Nablus 17/8/2004 Near Ajaj mosque Denied access
16/8/2004 Al Muntazah Street 120 minutes
19/8/2004 Faysal Street 45 minutes
Qalqiliya 15/8/2004 Azzun gate 25 minutes
15/8/2004 Azzun gate 30 minutes
Gaza 15/8/2004 Al Tufah 160 minutes
14/8/2004 Al Tufah 60 minutes

During this reporting period, a total of 17 deaths and 74 injuries were reported in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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:

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