Sunday, August 22, 2004

PR PALESTINE: Red Crescent Ambulances damaged by Israel 8-22-04

Israeli Soldiers Cause Extensive Damage to PRCS Ambulance

Al Ezariyeh (Jerusalem), 20/8/2004 (17:00 PM): A PRCS ambulance was stopped by Israeli soldiers at the Al Ezariyeh entrance while on route from Ramallah city to PRCS’ Al Ezariyeh Emergency Medical Services Station in Jerusalem. The soldiers confiscated the crews’ communication equipment and called an explosives expert to search the ambulance. The crew was ordered to open the wooden box which holds the rear ambulance seat to the floor. Although the crew explained that the box can not be opened, the soldiers started breaking the wooden box and the medical supply cabinets and medical equipment causing extensive damage to the ambulance’s entire cabin. The ambulance was delayed for nearly an hour before it was finally allowed 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 article 63 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 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 article 21 of the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva conventions, which stresses that,” Medical vehicles shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units under the Conventions and this Protocol.”

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