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How Israel targets Palestinian first responders in occupied West Financial institution | The Global Today

The newest Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp within the northern occupied West Financial institution final month has been described as a “bloodbath” by native officers and residents and condemned by the United Nations, however it’s removed from distinctive in scope and brutality.

In an announcement printed on Saturday to mark World Humanitarian Day, UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings mentioned 77 healthcare employees have been injured and 30 ambulances broken whereas making an attempt to assist individuals within the occupied territory up to now in 2023, whether or not throughout raids or protests or simply on common days.

First responders – non-governmental organisations working with volunteers, medical doctors, nurses, municipal employees and extra – usually put their lives in danger whereas offering assist, Hastings mentioned.

They’re impeded “amid Israel’s occupation, motion restrictions, political divisions, recurrent battle, and even efforts to denigrate their work”, Hastings mentioned.

Numerous testimonies from first responders on the bottom through the years have documented Israel’s deliberate practices in concentrating on first responders that present no indicators of stopping.

Medical workers focused

Omar Azzam, worldwide humanitarian legislation coordinator on the Palestine Pink Crescent Society, advised Al Jazeera there have been 193 violations by Israeli forces in opposition to its medical workers within the occupied West Financial institution thus far in 2023.

These, he mentioned, included direct assaults within the area, assaults on ambulances, denying and obstructing entry, and concentrating on the wounded and the sick.

“In July alone, 10 direct assaults have been recorded in opposition to medical workers, from gasoline and dwell hearth, the final of which occurred to a area volunteer within the Askar camp whereas offering remedy,” Azzam mentioned. “He wore a badge however he was shot within the foot, which implies it was intentional.”

In Jerusalem, Azzam’s group recorded 314 circumstances of first responders being prevented from driving to a location or being compelled to vary autos with out consideration for the sufferers’ security as much as the tip of June.

In addition they reported 80 circumstances of paramedics being denied full entry to the wounded by Israeli forces and 41 circumstances of being delayed or obstructed.

Ambulances are sometimes denied entry or delayed in attending to injured individuals who want them [Ayman Nobani/Al Jazeera]

Furthermore, 9 sufferers have been kidnapped whereas receiving medical remedy, one thing that occurs even inside ambulances.

Azzam mentioned in the course of the newest Jenin raid, “One affected person, in important situation, was interrogated contained in the ambulance then arrested and transferred to a army patrol after an assault on the paramedics.”

‘I crawled on the bottom’

Hamza Abu Hajar, a volunteer on the Palestinian Medical Aid Society in Nablus, has paid a excessive worth over the six years he has been offering help.

The 27-year-old advised Al Jazeera he was shot within the chest with dwell ammunition throughout an Israeli raid in Nablus final December, which left him preventing for his life in intensive take care of a number of days.

“Eight months after the damage, I’m nonetheless struggling problems from the bullets that entered my chest and [went] out via my again,” he mentioned.

“Through the years, I’ve been subjected to many assaults by occupation forces, together with after they shoot bullets, tear gasoline and sound bombs to forestall me from reaching the wounded, and even when occupation patrols assault me.”

EMS workers and volunteers loading an injured man into an ambulance at the site of protests
Healthcare employees usually threat their lives to achieve these in want [Ayman Nobani/Al Jazeera]

Amir Ahmad Amir, a volunteer on the Pink Crescent in Nablus, was shot by Israeli forces final month.

The 25-year-old, who grew to become a father three months in the past, was on the Askar refugee camp in Nablus making an attempt to supply medical help to a toddler when he was shot thrice in each legs by Israeli snipers.

“I crawled on the bottom to attempt to get to a wall, however the bullets have been being fired at me, immediately and intentionally. A few of them shot via the sneakers I used to be sporting,” he advised Al Jazeera from a hospital, the place he’ll endure an operation for nerve injury.

Israel mentioned after the July operation in Jenin it “ensures that humanitarian help is offered and doesn’t apply any limitation on entry for medical workers, besides in locations the place the lives of medical workers is in danger because of exchanges of fireside”.

Extra reporting by Ayman Nobani from Nablus within the occupied West Financial institution


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