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Shams Al-Shakarchi

Israel attacking medical teams in Palestine, charity says

Medical aid in Palestine is under threat of Israeli violations, MAP said [Stock image:Getty]

Date of publication: 20 December, 2017

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Israel is failing to credibly and impartially investigate reported violations and attacks on medical teams and Palestinians, Medical Aid for Palestinians has said.
A charity has called for Israel to be held accountable for violations against medical teams and the killing of Palestinians, including a double amputee, in the days of unrest following US President Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision.

London-based Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) said it is deeply concerned by loss of life and injuries caused by the Israeli security forces at protests in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"It is vital for health workers to be able to perform their life-saving work without fear of attack," MAP CEO Aimee Shalan said.

"Israel must fully engage with all international efforts to promote impartial investigations into attacks on medical infrastructure and workers and pursue accountability when violations are identified to ensure the necessary guarantees for non-repetition."

Ten Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bullets and airstrikes, while more than 3,000 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear-gas since December 7, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said.
It is vital for health workers to be able to perform their life-saving work without fear of attack
The PRCS also reported 14 violations by Israeli forces against its medical teams between December 7 and 16.

Four emergency medical staff have been injured, medical teams have been denied access or freedom to move three times and ambulances have been attacked four times, it said.

MAP said the violations occur amid Israel's "ongoing and pervasive failure" to credibly investigate reported violations against the protected status of medical teams and facilities.
Ibrahim Abu Thurayah was shot by Israeli forces on Friday
[Anadolu]

Past incidents that have gone unaccounted include a raid on a Jerusalem hospital in July 2017 and widespread attacks on hospitals, clinics and paramedics during the 2014 offensive on Gaza, MAP said.

On Monday, Israel's military exonerated itself in a day-old investigation over the fatal shooting of a Palestinian amputee in a wheelchair.

Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a 29-year-old a double lower-limb amputee, was one of four killed in Friday's clashes in Gaza.

According to al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Abu Thuraya was shot in the forehead when he was 50 metres inside the border fence, unarmed and posing no threat to Israeli forces.

An investigation by the Israeli military into his death concluded that it found "no moral or professional failures" in the incident.
Read more: Ibrahim Abu Thuraya: A symbol of Gaza's resilience
Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights groups have repeatedly highlighted the lack of raised doubts credibility and effectiveness of internal Israeli military investigations, MAP said.

Abu Thuraya's killing occurred in the same week MAP was in Geneva advocating for UN member states to urge Israel to protect and promote the rights and welfare of Palestinians with disabilities in their upcoming Universal Periodic Review.

MAP called for new attacks and all potential violations of international humanitarian law to be investigated, and for those responsible held to account. It also emphasised the effect of the crippling blockade of Gaza on its hospitals and two million residents in need.

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